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UNICEF: Refugees freezing to death in the Middle East

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 01:28

The United Nations says at least six displaced Syrian children have died due to the severe cold weather hitting the Middle East, with many refugee families struggling to cope in the icy conditions. Nathan Frandino reports.

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In Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, refugees are digging out. Winter is in full blast. Sub-zero temperatures and icy conditions threaten daily. United Nations Children's Fund spokesman Christophe Boulierac says it's become deadly for children. (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF) SPOKESMAN CHRISTOPHE BOULIERAC SAYING: "We so far have had confirmation that six children have died - six casualties - related to weather conditions and winter in Syria and in Lebanon. This number is probably underestimated." The country is home to over 1.1 million Syrian refugees with more than 400,000 here in Bekaa. Many live in informal settlements where little more than a tent separates them from the cold. Inside newborns receive care. Refugees do what they can to get by. Winter aid efforts began in October and intensified in December. Still the UN remains concerned. (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNICEF SPOKESMAN CHRISTOPHE BOULIERAC SAYING: "The Atareb hospital, in Aleppo, says there is an increase in respiratory and infectious diseases among children due to weather conditions." The UN is appealing to donors for more help as winter continues.

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UNICEF: Refugees freezing to death in the Middle East

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 01:28