Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on reports of chemical weapons attacks on children and families in Syria

NEW YORK/SYDNEY, 6 April 2017 - “The images of children choking and dying in the streets of Idlib, Syria, following alleged chemical weapons attacks, are as horrific as they are heartbreaking.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

“If confirmed, these attacks must do more than provoke our outrage; they must compel action by those with the power and the ability to bring an end to this devastating violence. 

“The alleged use of such a horrific weapon must not obscure the violence taking place elsewhere in Syria, including in Aleppo, Damascus and Hama, nor should it distract from the daily suffering of the more than 280,000 children trapped under siege, cut off from humanitarian aid.   

“The children of Syria have already suffered far too much, for far too long.”  


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 
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For more information, please contact:
Laura Gibbons, UNICEF Australia, 04 35206273,    
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, +1917 209 1804,