By Alma Hassoun
DAMASCUS, 20 May 2013 – Five-day old Yaman took a long stretch inside an incubator at a charity hospital in Damascus, while his mother and sister were admiring him happily through the glass door of the unit.
Yaman has in many ways become one of Syria’s smallest hopes amid vicious fighting that has damaged hospitals and taken thousands of lives. His mother remained nearby, ready to breastfeed her youngest child to ensure the best nutritional start to life.
DAMASCUS/AMMAN/GENEVA, 17 May 2013 – Despite heavy fighting, UNICEF and partners have provided life-saving supplies over the last week to some of the hardest to reach areas in Syria, including Aleppo and Al Houla, as well as children and women who fled recent violence in Al Bayda and Baniyas.
UNICEF was recently part of a mission to Al Houla, near Homs, with other United Nations agencies. The area was the scene of a massacre that left scores of children dead almost a year ago. One of our colleagues was part of the mission and sent us the following update:
“This was the first time that UNICEF was able to reach the embattled area of Al Houla to provide much needed humanitarian assistance. We wanted to assess the situation of the 70,000 people or so living there, around half of whom are displaced.