Middle East

UN says 210K kids need help in Syria's Homs

The Syrian national flag flutters atop a damaged building that was controlled by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Homs January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Yazan Homsy

GENEVA: The U.N. children's agency says 420,000 people - half of them children - need immediate help in Syria's western governorate of Homs.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado says the agency will now try to reach as many of those people as possible.

She told reporters Friday in Geneva that 200 of 1,500 schools in Homs were damaged by Syria's 22-month-old civil war, while another 65 schools shelter children and families.

The U.N. refugee agency says eight trucks delivered 15,000 blankets and 2,000 tents this week, its first winter emergency relief, to more than 10,000 people in makeshift camps in northern Syria's Azzas area.

The agency's Middle East and North Africa director, Yacoub El Hillo, called it "an appalling situation" at the camps, where people need "urgent, acute and immediate" care.





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