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UNICEF / SYRIA EMERGENCY AID

A UNICEF Emergency Specialist coordinating the agency’s emergency response to the crisis in Syria talks about the dangers and the importance of a continued UN presence in Syria, even as the security situation deteriorates. (UNICEF/FILE)
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00:02:25
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Description

STORY: UNICEF / SYRIA EMERGENCY AID
TRT: 2.25
SOURCE: UNICEF / UNSMIS / WFP
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 27 AUGUST 2013, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

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Shotlist

FILE -UNSMIS – 26, 27 MAY 2012, RASTAN, SYRIA

1. Various shots, damaged bridge on the highway in Al Rastan and some damaged buildings in the town
2. Wide shot, UN convey driving by Syrian Army personnel
3. Wide shot, destroyed Syrian Army armoured personnel carriers

27 AUGUST 2013, NEW YORK CITY

4. SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“The biggest uniqueness of the Syrian crisis is the ongoing conflict. It’s a situation where you are under bombardment day and night. The magnitude of the people affected is so huge.”

FILE - WFP - 2012, SYRIA

5. Tracking shot, UN convoy
6. Tilt up, woman with her child and some supplies
7. Tracking shot, Red Crescent car travelling in the streets
8. Wide shot, children playing outside

27 AUGUST 2013, NEW YORK CITY

9. SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“Our national staff are on the highest risk. The reason I’m saying that, they are Syrians. They belong to an ethnic group; they belong to a religious group, so sometimes every time they go with us they are stopped at the checkpoint the security forces are demanding their ids to know where they belong to. Are they this group or that group.”

FILE - UNSMIS - 27 MAY 2012, HOULA, SYRIA

10. Wide shot, local residents carrying dead body in the street

27 AUGUST 2013, NEW YORK CITY

11. SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“Two children were brought on a wheelbarrow and these children have their legs broken by shrapnel from aerial bombardment and they have not received medication for almost a week. So you could see the infection taking place in their legs and these are eight, nine, ten year-old boys.”

UNICEF – RECENT, SYRIA

12. Various still shots, Musse with Syrian Children

27 AUGUST 2013, NEW YORK CITY

13. SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“What we need to do is number one, to make sure UN presence is maintained in Syria. Not only UNICEF but all UN agencies should continue to remain in the country despite the deteriorating security situation. Our presence can provide some protection for the civilians.”

FILE - OCHA - JANUARY 2013, SYRIA

14. Wide shot, family walking in the street
15. Tracking shot, street with burnt buildings

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Storyline

As the stakes in the Syrian conflict continue to rise, UNICEF Emergency Specialist AbdulKadir Musse prepares to return to one of the most dangerous places on earth.

Earlier this year, Musse spent three months in Homs, a city that has seen violent and extensive conflict because of its strategic position between the capital Damascus and the Syrian Mediterranean coast.

Musse and other UNICEF officers faced constant danger as they struggled to provide families on all sides of the conflict with medicine, food, water, education, shelter and, most importantly, safety.

SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“The biggest uniqueness of the Syrian crisis is the ongoing conflict. It’s a situation where you are under bombardment day and night. The magnitude of the people affected is so huge.”

Daily, Musse witnessed the courage of volunteers, UNICEF Syrian Arab Republic officers and organizations such as the Syrian Red Crescent, doggedly staffed by people who were, in many cases, themselves displaced, or bereaved, and facing extra danger because of their religious or ethnic affiliations.

SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“Our national staff are on the highest risk. The reason I’m saying that, they are Syrians. They belong to an ethnic group; they belong to a religious group, so sometimes every time they go with us they are stopped at the checkpoint the security forces are demanding their ids to know where they belong to. Are they this group or that group.”

Musse, a father of six, saw some of the devastating human consequences of the battle in Al Qusayr, where women and children hadn’t been allowed to leave to seek safety.

One million Syrian children have now been registered as refugees, forced from their homeland by a war that is well into its third year, the United Nations announced on Friday.

SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“Two children were brought on a wheelbarrow and these children have their legs broken by shrapnel from aerial bombardment and they have not received medication for almost a week. So you could see the infection taking place in their legs and these are eight, nine, ten year-old boys.”

Musse believes, based on past humanitarian crises, the continued presence of the United Nations is vital. And he says when he compares the situation of his own children to those in the Syrian Arab Republic, he has no choice.

SOUNDBITE (English) AbdulKadir Musse, UNICEF Emergency Specialist:
“What we need to do is number one, to make sure UN presence is maintained in Syria. Not only UNICEF but all UN agencies should continue to remain in the country despite the deteriorating security situation. Our presence can provide some protection for the civilians.”

Inside Syria, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, some 7,000 children have been killed during the conflict. UNHCR and UNICEF estimate that more than 2 million children have been internally displaced within Syria.

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