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Press Centre (12/2013)

Young Syrians are learning Turkish not to be a "lost generation"

 MALATYA, Turkey, December 2013 - Ahmed has just graduated from the department of mathematics teaching. Nevar is a 4th grader in the department of physics. Fatma is a first-year student in history. The common trait of these three young people is that they are young Syrians who have just started learning Turkish. Like many other Syrians in Turkey, they are deeply concerned by the prospect of becoming a "lost generation". Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, a well-known Turkish poet, writes in his poem Three Languages: "You shall speak at least three languages; you shall think and have your dreams in at least three languages."

UNICEF supports the teachers who are changing the lives of Syrian children

ŞANLIURFA, Turkey, December 2013 - Whiteboards, projectors, desks, chairs, files, notebooks and pencils are ready. However, this time, there are no schoolchildren around, carrying blue UNICEF bags. Today, all of the participants are teachers: Syrian teachers living and working in the camps across Turkey. This one-day teacher?s training session is being held in a total of nine training tents in the Akçakale camp in the province of Şanlıurfa. It brings together 271 Syrian teachers from the camp.

Youth workers: the best friends of Syrian children

ŞANLIURFA-KİLİS, Turkey, December 2013 - Youth workers supported by UNICEF are helping to rebuild the lives of Syrian children who have fled the violence in their country and are living in camps in Turkey. ?On the one hand, the children continue their education in the schools located in the camps, and on the other they get the opportunity to improve their skills in the pleasant environment of the Child Friendly Space,? explains Elif Gülsever, who works in the UNICEF Child Friendly Space in the Akçakale camp in the province of Şanlıurfa.

The Second Round of Polio Vaccination Campaign Started with the Support of UNICEF

The second round of polio vaccination campaign, which is counducted by Turkish Ministry of Health, in coordination with UNICEF Turkey, to take nationwide precautions against any possible polio epidemic, started.

The second round of vaccination campaign, which will be carried out between 23rd and 29th December 2013, will include Syrian and Turkish children between 0 and 59 months in 11 cities (Hatay, Gaziantep, Kilis, Sanliurfa, Mardin, Sırnak, Adana, Kahramanmaras, Malatya, Adiyaman and Osmaniye) and only Syrian refugee children in the same age group in other 70 cities.


UNICEF statement on the reported killing of children in Aleppo

Attributable to Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa AMMAN, Jordan, 16 December 2013 - UNICEF is horrified by reports of a bombing raid in Aleppo that may have killed as many as 28 children. Reports say the attack took place on Sunday 15 December when improvised bombs were dropped from helicopters on parts of Aleppo city, in northern Syria. The reports say between 14 and 28 children were killed.


Decline in education for Syrian children "worst and fastest in region's history"

GENEVA/NEW YORK/AMMAN, 13 December 2013- The decline in education for Syrian children has been the sharpest and most rapid in the history of the region, according to a new paper published today.

"Education Interrupted" highlights that since 2011 nearly 3 million children from Syria have been forced to quit their education as fighting has destroyed classrooms, left children too terrified to go to school, or seen families flee the country. Progress achieved over decades has been reversed in under three years.


A call to action for inclusive education reform gathers political momentum

ISTANBUL, Turkey, 13 December 2013 - Twenty governments in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia have voiced their political support for a call to realize the right of millions of children to inclusive and quality education. Leaders rallied behind the "Education Equity Now!" call to action launched this week at the regional ministerial education meeting hosted by the Government of Turkey and organized jointly with UNICEF in Istanbul.


One in three children under-five do not officially exist - UNICEF

UNICEF releases new birth registration report on its own 67th birthday underscoring the importance of counting every child

NEW YORK, 11 December 2013- On UNICEF's 67th birthday today, the organization released a new report showing that the births of nearly 230 million children under-five have never been registered; approximately 1 in 3 of all children under-five around the world.

"Birth registration is more than just a right. It's how societies first recognize and acknowledge a child's identity and existence," said Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. "Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of their nations."


Governments, UNICEF launch regional initiative to ensure access to quality education for every child

ISTANBUL, Turkey, December 10, 2013 - A call for action to get millions of children who are out of school back into quality learning was launched by representatives of 30 countries, including ten ministers, today. The call for action, entitled "Education Equity Now!", was unveiled at a regional conference on ensuring access to quality education for every child, hosted by the Ministry of National Education of Turkey in cooperation with UNICEF. It aims to rally governments in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Commonwealth of Independent States to accelerate education reforms for all children, particularly the most disadvantaged.


Over 23 million children to be vaccinated in mass polio immunization campaign across Middle East

UNICEF and WHO appeal for improved access to children CAIRO, AMMAN, 9 December 2013 - The largest-ever immunization response in the Middle East is under way this week, aiming to vaccinate more than 23 million children against polio in Syria and neighbouring countries over the coming weeks. The campaign is a crucial part of the response to an outbreak of the virus-borne disease in Syria, where 17 cases have so far been confirmed, and to the detection of the virus in environmental samples in other parts of the Middle East.


Syrian Families Staying in Camps across Turkey welcome Polio Vaccination Campaign

GAZIANTEP, Turkey / November 2013 - As a family, we are very happy for our children to be vaccinated against polio. The reason for many diseases is the children?s lack of vaccination.? says Taibe Abdülmecid Ismail. Taibe, who had to flee the Syrian city of Edlib andtake refuge in Turkey is one of many mothers bringing their children to be vaccinated... The mother of six children, 4 daughters and 2 sons, shared her views on vaccination campaign while waiting with her two babies, one 11-month and other 2, for their turn to see the health workers.

Katy Perry is UNICEF's newest Goodwill Ambassador

NEW YORK, 3 December 2013 - At a special event today at UNICEF Headquarters, global pop superstar Katy Perry was appointed UNICEF's newest Goodwill Ambassador, with a special focus on engaging young people in the agency's work to improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable children and adolescents. "Katy Perry is already a champion for children, and we look forward to hearing her roar on behalf of UNICEF," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "We are delighted that she is joining us as UNICEF's newest Goodwill Ambassador and lending her remarkable voice to amplify the voices of children and young people around the world."


Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director Statement of Condolence Nelson Mandela

UNICEF joins millions of people around the world who mourn the loss of

Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

Today we have all lost a hero, a powerful champion for children.

The father of his nation, Nelson Mandela devoted much of his work to children. In 2002, he urged that Heads of State at the UN Special Session for Children endorse increased health and education resources for children. In 2004, through his Foundation and in partnership with the Hamburg Society and UNICEF, Mandela launched the Schools for Africa campaign to enroll two million African children in school. He started his own children's fund and fought passionately, with his wife, Graça Machel, and the Global Movement for Children and UNICEF, to put children at the heart of the global development agenda.

Madiba touched the lives of millions of children. They are a central part of his legacy.

Our deepest condolences go to his wife, Graça Machel, his family and his nation.


UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org