The supplies were urgently airlifted from Unicef's global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, to respond to the growing needs of Syrian refugees in Iraq, who now number more than 200,000. Some 50,000 refugees arrived in just the last two-and-a-half weeks, half of whom were children.
"These supplies come just in time to meet the pressing needs of the over 20,000 Syrian children who have recently arrived in northern Iraq," said Marzio Babille, Unicef's representative to Iraq.
"This airlift underlines Unicef's unwavering support for the vital services these children need in the face of terrible suffering, trauma and stress," he added.
The supplies include water tanks, tap stands, toilet equipment, water purification tablets and testing kits, oral rehydration solutions, emergency health and hygiene, early childhood development and recreation kits, and school materials among other items.
These items come in addition to 12 trucks of supplies, carrying primarily hygiene kits for over 50,000 people, that arrived earlier this week from Unicef's warehouse hub in Mersin, Turkey, as well as an additional four trucks of emergency materials that arrived from Baghdad.
"All of these items are part of a first wave of supplies that will massively scale up Unicef's emergency response to the growing number of Syrian refugee children and families in Iraq," stated Babille.
The majority of supplies were made possible by a USD 5.8-million contribution from the government of Kuwait as well as an in-kind contribution from UPS, a long-standing partner of Unicef, which provided support toward the airlift cost from Copenhagen.
Unicef is working closely with the Kurdistan regional government, UNHCR, other UN agencies, and international and national NGOs to deliver vital essential services - particularly in the water and sanitation, education, health and nutrition, and child protection sectors - to Syrian refugee children and their families in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
--IANS (Posted on 02-09-2013)