- Syrian boy in refugee camp
- Flickr, UNICEF
More than one million people are on the run in Syria, and most experts say this massive refugee situation is likely to get much worse before it gets better.
As always, it is often the children who tend to suffer the most.
The crisis in Syria today compares to massive historic tragedies, Iraq in 1991 and Rwanda, 1994, in terms of the number of people displaced. An additional 2 million Syrians are internally displaced. With as many as 8,000 people leaving Syria every day the UN is concerned that the number of refugees may triple by the end of the year.
That means as much as 15% of all Syrians could be refugees by the end of the year.
Several new reports out this week emphasize the harm this crisis is doing to children – a harm that can persist after the crisis passes, which makes responding to it now more urgent than ever. Continue reading
Geeta Rao Gupta
Geeta Rao Gupta, for the past year a senior adviser to the global development arm of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been selected to become deputy director at UNICEF (aka United Nations Children’s Fund).
Rao Gupta, who before joining the Seattle philanthropy was president of the International Center for Research on Women, is widely regarded as an expert on gender, women’s issues (especially with regard to HIV/AIDS) and the intersection of health and poverty.
Rao Gupta will serve under relatively new UNICEF director Anthony Lake, a prominent expert on foreign policy perhaps best known as President Clinton’s National Security Adviser.
Side note: Lake replaced former UNICEF chief Ann Veneman, who has stirred controversy by joining the board of Swiss food company Nestle, which some nutrition advocates say undermines child health by promoting infant formulas and discouraging breastfeeding.