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Statement on suspected chemical attack in Syria, April 2018

 

Following reports of a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma that’s left dozens dead and hundreds injured, Save the Children has issued the following statement:

Sonia Khush, Syria Response Director, Save the Children:

“We are horrified by reports of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta. While we can’t confirm what happened on Saturday night, it’s clear that once again children have been killed and injured in indiscriminate attacks. Our partners report helping children who were choking, foaming at the mouth and convulsing in a chaotic situation.

“The children of Eastern Ghouta have already suffered through five years of siege and violence. They have been denied education, food, healthcare and forced to sleep in basements for months on end to shelter from attacks. Now, as thousands of people flee their homes, those who have survived the bombardment face an uncertain future.

“We need the nationwide ceasefire that was agreed by the UN Security Council in February implemented immediately, and the UN and ICRC granted access to all areas of Eastern Ghouta, including Douma. Following months of intense fighting, displaced civilians and those who choose to remain in their homes need urgent humanitarian support.  International investigators must be allowed to enter Douma to investigate the alleged chemical attack – we cannot continue to allow the slaughter of children by all sides in Syria to continue with impunity.”

Notes to editors:

  • Several of Save the Children’s partner organisations are still working in Eastern Ghouta, providing emergency relief supplies to the families who remain.
  • In just the last few weeks, our partners have gone door-to-door to basement shelters and distributed nearly 4,000 winter and hygiene kits, more than 700 cash grants to families and thousands of hot meals. 
  • It is unclear what the future holds for aid workers who have been working in Eastern Ghouta – many have had to evacuate with their families.
  • Save the Children is now scaling up its response for the tens of thousands of people who have fled the area, particularly in Idlib.
  • Teams in the north-west are distributing new arrival kits, cash grants and ready to eat rations to almost 40,000 people, alongside our existing work in the area running schools, clinics, livelihood projects and a maternity hospital. They are seeking funds to support programming beyond the emergency relief phase, including family tracing and reunification and mental health and psychosocial support for children who have evacuated from Eastern Ghouta.
  • To donate to our Syria appeal please click here.

 

Spokespeople available in London and/or Amman.

Kindly contact:

 

Bhanu Bhatnagar

B.Bhatnagar@savethechildren.org.uk

+44 7467 09 67 88

 

Out-of-hours

Media@savethechildren.org.uk

+44 7831 65 04 09

 

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