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UN starts delivery of safe water supplies for 10 million people in Syria


11:10, February 05, 2013

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- A large-scale operation is under way in Syria to secure safe water supplies for more than 10 million people -- close to half the population, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday.

The UNICEF announcement came amid reports that the quality and quantity of water is continuing to deteriorate with negative impacts for children's health.

"This shipment is very timely as supplies of chlorine in Syria have fallen dangerously low, making access to safe water challenging for many families," said Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, the UNICEF representative in Syria.

"This puts the population -- and children especially -- at high risk of contracting diarrhea and other water-borne diseases," he said.

The first four trucks carrying 80 tons of sodium hypochlorite water chlorination supplies crossed the Jordanian border into Syria on Sunday, heading for Aleppo, Hama, Idleb and Homs.

About 420,000 people -- half of them children -- need urgent humanitarian aid in Homs, UNICEF said last week, following a recent inter-agency mission to the Middle East country, which suffered from a political crisis and subsequent violence since March 2011.

Over the coming weeks, UNICEF, in coordination with the technical department of the Syrian Ministry of Water Resources and the Syrian Aran Red Crescent, will deliver 1,000 tons of chlorine to cities and communities across all 14 governorates in Syria.

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