Save the Children Deutschland e.V.
According to Save the Children, the cholera outbreak in eastern and northern Syria is endangering thousands of children. Due to the drought caused by the climate crisis and the ongoing conflict in the country, water is becoming increasingly scarce. Many systems and lines were damaged or destroyed. More and more Syrians have to use polluted water, for example from the Euphrates River.
At least 24 people have already died. As of September 19, several thousand suspected cases had been reported across the country. The cholera outbreak coincides with the start of school in Syria, so not only the health but also the education of children is at risk, according to the children’s rights organization.
“We are dealing with a major outbreak,” says Beat Rohr, Save the Children’s interim country director in Syria. It’s not just children who are sick who are at risk. “We also worry about those whose relatives are infected, so that the family income is falling. And the outbreak is making it even more difficult for girls and boys in Syria to continue going to school than before.”
Save the Children warns that cholera will continue to spread in the coming days and weeks. The already overburdened health system would hardly be able to cope with a large-scale epidemic. In addition, many people can hardly afford hygiene items. The children’s rights organization is calling on donors to allocate additional funds to combat the outbreak of the disease and to minimize its impact on children. The focus must be on restoring basic services, including water supply and sanitation.
It is the first major outbreak of the disease in Syria in more than a decade. The level of the Euphrates has dropped to an all-time low as a result of the drought. Wastewater in the river also promotes the spread of diseases. According to Unicef, almost half of the people in Syria depend on unsafe water sources to meet their daily needs.
Save the Children Germany currently has two projects in north-east Syria. With a sum of around eleven million euros, the Federal Foreign Office is supporting programs to improve infant and young child nutrition in the governorates of Al-Hasakeh and Ar-Raqqa and to promote hygiene measures and access to clean water. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is financing Save the Children projects in the Ar-Raqqa governorate with 3.5 million euros. This supports young people and young adults who are affected by conflict and displacement to improve their living and income opportunities. Since 2012, Save the Children Germany has supported more than a dozen projects for people in need in Syria and neighboring countries.
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In the post-war year of 1919, British social reformer and children’s rights activist Eglantyne Jebb founded Save the Children to save children in Germany and Austria from starvation. Today, what is now the largest independent children’s rights organization in the world is active in around 120 countries. Save the Children works for children in wars, conflicts and disasters. For a world that respects the rights of children, in which all children can live healthy and safe lives and grow up and learn freely and independently – for over 100 years.
Save the Children Deutschland e.V.
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Original content from: Save the Children Deutschland eV, transmitted by news aktuell