28 April 2016

ALEPPO, SYRIA: SOS Children’s Villages evacuates children as fighting intensifies

Aleppo, Syria, April 28, 2016 – Against a backdrop of intensified fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo, SOS Children’s Villages has evacuated 24 children from its Interim Care Center in Aleppo to Damascus. The Interim Care Center was established to provide shelter, medical care, psychological support and reactional activities to unaccompanied and separated children.
The children – who were evacuated on Friday, April 15 - are being housed in Damascus until the situation in Aleppo stabilizes. They are being cared for by SOS staff and a specialist who is providing psychological and emotional support.
The announcement of the move was delayed to ensure that the children and SOS co-workers were safely relocated. An intensification of fighting in recent weeks has led to rising casualties, including more than a dozen people who were reported killed Wednesday at a hospital supported by Doctors without Borders, according to news reports.  
Alia Al-Dalli, SOS Children’s Villages International Director of the MENA Region, issued the following statement:
“Our decision to evacuate the 24 children in our care from Aleppo is a response to the escalation in fighting and the risk it poses to our Interim Care Center. The care of these children is our paramount concern, and we must do all we can to protect them from the physical and emotional harm of war.
“As one of the few international organizations that have been working in Aleppo throughout the civil war, we are committed to help vulnerable children. We call upon all conflict parties in Syria to halt the violence in keeping with the February cease-fire and other international peace efforts. Five years of warfare, deprivation and displacement have taken too great a toll on children and all civilians in Syria, and it is time for all sides to turn their attention to reconciliation and reconstruction.” 

To speak to a representative of Alia Al-Dalli of SOS Children's Villages, please contact Stephanie Rendon at 202.470.5182 or srendon@sos-usa.org
SOS Children’s Villages is an international organization that builds families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children in 134 countries.

Since 1981, SOS Children’s Villages Syria (SOS Syria) has been providing care to orphaned and abandoned children. In 2012, SOS Syria launched an emergency response program that provides children and their families with food, shelter, medical and psychological care, and educational and recreational activities.

Through the Emergency response program, we have directly impacted the lives of nearly 300,000 Syrian children and their family members, many of whom have been forced from their homes and remain in dire need of humanitarian aid.

To learn more about SOS Children’s Villages, visit www.sos-usa.org