The Government of Italy has contributed €1 million to UNICEF to support the most vulnerable children with severe mental and/or physical disabilities and their families in Syria through provision of regular cash assistance coupled with one-on-one support from social workers.
In Syria, 14.6 million people – including more than 6.5 million children – need humanitarian assistance in 2022. Children with disabilities are often hardest hit by the conflict. With their families, they struggle to cope amid the ongoing conflict, continued displacements, the unprecedented economic crisis, deepening poverty, and unemployment. The hike in price of commodities triggered by the global energy crisis is further compounding their dire situation.
Many children with disabilities carry a double burden when it comes to violence, threats to their health and safety, hunger, risk of abuse, and loss of education. Lack of mobility and difficulty fleeing harm further compound the obstacles they encounter.
“Italy is committed to support the rights of children with disabilities. Italy appreciates UNICEF’s integrated intervention aiming to not only address economic and social vulnerabilities of the children and their families but also enhance their wellbeing,” said Massimiliano D’Antuono, Chargé d’Affaires of the Italian Embassy in Damascus.
“The Italian Cooperation designs its interventions respecting human rights, promoting activities aimed to combat cultural prejudices and stigma, and promoting social inclusion. UNICEF’s integrated programme, while foreseen as a holistic intervention to support children with disabilities and their families, strengthens their dignity and enhances their social inclusion”, said Alessandra Piermattei, AICS Director for Lebanon and Syria.
UNICEF’s integrated social protection programme provides children with disabilities and their families regular and un-conditional cash transfers with case management services. The cash assistance is critical to help families cover for the basic needs of their children and the case management component helps to refer the children to social services, increasing their social inclusion and responding to their specific protection concerns.
“UNICEF thanks the Government of Italy for its significant contribution. With our partnership, we’re jointly taking critical steps towards helping more children with disabilities to reach their potential and fulfil their rights to be cared for and nurtured,” said Ghada Kachachi, UNICEF Syria Representative a.i.