In Rural Homs, Reaching Families Displaced by Conflict

Rana told me that her family had lived at the shelter for the past two months, having left Al Qusayr in Homs governorate to escape fighting. After the family left, Rana heard that their house was destroyed, leaving them nothing to return to.

“We left within 30 minutes so only have the clothes we are standing in. I’m not sure where my husband is,” says Rana. “Living here is difficult, but we plan to stay.”

As in other parts of Syria, UNICEF is providing vital support to children and families at these shelters.

Water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as health are key areas of support. UNICEF provides some 50,000 litres of water daily via tanker truck, along with water tanks for storage. Sewage lines were cleaned at all three shelters to improve the sanitation facilities. Hygiene kits for babies and families have been provided, and children attend hygiene awareness sessions, where they learn the importance of washing their hands to prevent disease.

UNICEF also supports a small clinic, which serves all three shelters, along with displaced families living in the community. A visiting paediatrician examines children and provides medicine, most of which is free to displaced children. Although living conditions continue to be difficult and basic, there has been a noticeable improvement in the health of displaced children at the shelters since the clinic opened recently.

Across Syria, more than 150,000 children have been reached with medical check-ups through 51 UNICEF-supported mobile medical teams and fixed centres. The aim is reach a total of 570,000 displaced children by the end of this year.

UNICEF will continue supporting the affected population in Hassayia, including displaced children and families, as long as they are there.

*Name has been changed for this story.

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