A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information No. 102/ 8 July 2015

By | 9 July 2015

Special Envoy de Mistura continues Geneva consultations
Within the framework of the Geneva Consultations, Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura met on 2 July with a delegation of the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces led by Coalition President Khaled Khoja. Mr. Khoja and other members of the delegation briefed on the latest efforts of the Coalition and the situation in and around Syria. They also discussed perspectives for a political solution to the conflict. This week, Special Envoy de Mistura intends to travel to New York to report to the Secretary-General on his findings from the initial phase of the Geneva Consultations. While in New York, Mr. de Mistura will hold further meetings with regional and international stakeholders to prepare for the planned Security Council meeting at the end of July.

UN aid convoy reaches Al Raqqa for the first time in eight months
The World Food Programme (WFP) said on 7 July that the agency made a breakthrough and delivered urgent food assistance to the northern region of Al Raqqa for the first time in eight months. A convoy carrying 2,000 food ration for 10,000 people arrived safely on 2 July. An additional 2,000 rations were delivered to families in need. During a press briefing in Geneva, a WFP Spokesperson warned, however, that the agency faced shortages which impeded the ability to provide aid to families in Al Raqqa, adding that urgent funding was required to maintain its current response.

Amid funding gap UN food agency cuts aid to refugees in Lebanon
In a report released on 3 July, WFP said that food assistance to refugees in Lebanon had to be curtailed due to a funding gap since January. According to a WFP survey, limited funding meant that the agency was forced to reduce the amount provided to refugees in Lebanon from US$27 to US$19 through its e-card programme. During the survey, 69 percent of families said that they had reduced the number of meals eaten each day and 58 percent limited their portion sizes. Some 77 percent of people reported buying food on credit or borrowing money to be able to buy food. More than 10 percent of surveyed families also said that they had withdrawn their children from school.

Child labour on the rise in Syria as a result of the conflict, warns UNICEF
The conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria are pushing an ever increasing number of children into exploitation in the labour market, and much more needs to be done to reverse the trend, according to UNICEF and Save the Children. The two agencies said in a report released on 2 July said that inside Syria, children are now contributing to the family income in more than three quarters of surveyed households. In Jordan, nearly half of all Syrian refugee children are the joint or sole family breadwinners, while in some parts of Lebanon, children as young as six years old are reportedly working. “The Syria crisis has dramatically reduced family livelihood opportunities and impoverished millions of households in the region, resulting in child labour reaching critical levels,” says Dr Roger Hearn, Regional Director for Save the Children in the Middle East and Eurasia. The report also found that a spiraling number of children are employed in harmful working conditions, risking serious damage to their health and wellbeing.

UNESCO launches web initiative to better understand learning needs of Syrian refugee youth in Jordan
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has launched the Jami3ti initiative (‘my university’ in Arabic) to address the information gap that currently exists about the learning needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan. A specialized Jami3ti website, developed by UNESCO Office in Amman with funding from the European Union, allows Syrian refugee youth to create individualized education profiles about their future learning needs. Educational institutions can then use this information to better their plan for post-secondary and higher education opportunities. To date, over 2,000 Syrian refugee youth in Jordan have started education profiles on the Jami3ti site.

UN Radio in Arabic

WFP delivers aid to Tal Abiyad after 8 months of being unable to reach the area

Ahmad has now work and bicycle…After his struggle to survive following his escape to Lebanon

WFP forced to reduce aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon

International report stresses the need to take urgent measures to address child labour among Syrian children

de Mistura continues his meetings with the Syrian parties and intends to submit his report of the Secretary-General within days
UN Twitter

With 6 months of year left, @UNOCHA says Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria only 25% funded http://j.mp/1ClcF7i – 7 July 2015

Lebanon, Jordan: Food assistance cuts overshadow Syrian refugees’ #Ramadan http://youtu.be/lDi3Zh7PA3U via @WFP – 5 July 2015
Ongoing social media campaigns:

#4Syria campaign was launched on 20 March 2015 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to highlight the Syrian conflict, which has entered its fifth year. The campaign calls for an end to the conflict and seeks to raise funds for UNRWA’s programmes to support Palestinian refugees from Syria. It features testimonies of Palestine refugees; voices that, amid the tragedy, brim with positive energy and determination, as well as documents highlighting UNRWA’s emergency work in the region. View the campaign at: http://www.unrwa.org/syria-crisis/syria4thanniversary

#SaveYarmouk was launched in January 2015 to shed light on the grave deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yarmouk, following the escalation of fighting. The campaign includes stories and updates from Yarmouk as well as recorded voices of residents describing the horrible conditions in which they are living. With no access to regular food supplies, clean water, health care, electricity or heating fuel, Yarmouk’s civilian population is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. For those who wish to support UNRWA’s work in Syria, donation is possible through the campaign’s website: http://www.unrwa.org/crisis-in-yarmouk

UNICEF and its partners are committed to keeping Syrian children from becoming a ‘lost generation’. Critical efforts are being made to minimize the impact of the crisis on children – including in the life-saving areas of health, nutrition, immunization, water and sanitation, as well as in the future of children, through education and child protection.

Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:

UN System agencies :
UN Women: http://www.unwomen.org/
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/media/index.html
WFP: http://www.wfp.org/countries/syria
OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria , twitter.com/ocha_syria , facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria
WHO: http://www.who.int/countries/syr/en/
UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4f86c2426.html
OHCHR: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/NewsSearch.aspx?CID=SY
UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/

UN on social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UN
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/unitednations
Tumblr: http://united-nations.tumblr.com/

Photo galleries:
UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c25d.html
UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/photogallery.php
OCHA: http://www.unocha.org/media-resources/photo-gallery
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_2013.php#UNI82253
IRIN: http://www.irinnews.org/photo/