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The Journal Gazette

Friday, February 01, 2013 12:56 pm

UN says 210K kids need help in Syria's Homs

The Associated Press

The U.N. children's agency says 420,000 people - half of them children - need immediate help in Syria's western governorate of Homs.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado says the agency will now try to reach as many of those people as possible.

She told reporters Friday in Geneva that 200 of 1,500 schools in Homs were damaged by Syria's 22-month-old civil war, while another 65 schools shelter children and families.

The U.N. refugee agency says eight trucks delivered 15,000 blankets and 2,000 tents this week, its first winter emergency relief, to more than 10,000 people in makeshift camps in northern Syria's Azzas area.

The agency's Middle East and North Africa director, Yacoub El Hillo, called it "an appalling situation" at the camps, where people need "urgent, acute and immediate" care.