The Syrian ceasefire has bolstered the nation’s hopes that the peace may finally be restored in the country ravaged by war after five years of bloodshed, UNICEF Director Anthony Lake claimed.
The people of Syria have been encouraged by the Russian and US-led negotiated ceasefire to hope that peace will be restored after five years of civil war, Lake said in a statement during a visit to the country.
“Everywhere I have visited — in Damascus, Homs, Hama and Al-Salameya — people spoke of hope,” Lake stated on Tuesday. “Hope that there will be peace, hope that peace can be found in more than a diplomatic piece of paper, hope that peace will return in their daily lives.”
Over the past five years, working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and other groups, UNICEF has provided more than ten million people, mostly children, with water, health and nutrition services, education and supportive counselling, the statement noted.
“As I crossed the lines into the encircled neighborhood of Al Waer, I saw things that I had not seen two years ago — shops open for business, people walking freely, children learning in classrooms above ground instead of huddling in basements for fear of snipers,” Lake pointed out.
At least six million children inside Syria still need assistance with more than two million more children requiring aid who have fled the violence to neighboring countries, Lake added.