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UNICEF warns of "looming" situation for Syrian children in harsh winter
December 08,2015   By:Xinhua
GENEVA, Dec.8,2015-- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Monday warned another harsh winter is looming for more than eight million Syrian children living inside the war-ravaged country or as refugees around the region and beyond.
 
Preliminary weather forecasts indicate that this winter could be harsher than last year's with temperatures in some mountainous areas dropping to as low as minus 13 degrees Celsius during the coldest days of December and January.
 
"These months are particularly brutal for children," said Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. "They are at higher risk of developing respiratory infections in the cold weather, and tragically they are also in danger when families burn plastic or other toxic materials inside their shelters to keep warm."
 
According to UNICEF, ongoing conflict has displaced more than three million children inside Syria. In neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt more than 2, 2 million children are now living as refugees.
 
This year, UNICEF is providing a package of assistance for 2.6 million Syrian children inside Syria and across the region. The focus will be on children who have been hit the hardest, including the internally displaced and those living in hard-to-reach areas or in informal tented settlements.
 
Earlier Monday, UNICEF launched its annual appeal for funds to support its programs overall inside Syria and neighboring countries, seeking 1.1 billion U.S. dollars for 2016. 
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