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LEBANON/SYRIA

UNICEF: Tartus boat sinking reminder that action is urgently needed to stop families dying at sea

UNICEF: Tartus boat sinking reminder that action is urgently needed to stop families dying at sea

Rescuers search for victims and survivors off the coast of Syria's southern port city of Tartus on Sept. 22, 2022. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — UNICEF on Friday said it is "deeply saddened by death toll from boat that sank off the coast of Syria coming from Lebanon" and considered that "yesterday's [Thursday's] tragedy, and those that have come before it, are harsh reminders that collective action is urgently needed to stop families dying at sea."

In a statement, UNICEF said it "is deeply saddened by reports that several children are among those who lost their lives when a boat sank off the coast of Tartus, Syria, last night, claiming dozens of lives, including children. Our thoughts and condolences go to their families whose lives have been devastated by this tragedy."

“In the past few months, Lebanon has witnessed a rise in such desperate attempts to find safety and better lives in other countries that have left many dead. Earlier this month, three young children reportedly died of dehydration whilst fleeing with their family. Years of political instability and economic crisis in Lebanon have pushed many children and families into poverty, affecting their health, welfare and education. As in many areas in the region, people in Lebanon are living in dire conditions which affect everyone there but are especially acute for the most vulnerable people, including refugees, who had left their homes hoping for a better chance for them and their children, UNICEF also said.

The number of people found dead after their irregular migrant boat capsized off the northwestern Syrian port city of Tartus rose to 87 on Friday evening, according to Lebanese caretaker Public Works and Transportation Minister Ali Hamieh, as reported by the state-owned National News Agency. The number of survivors undergoing treatment at the al-Bassel Hospital in Tartus has not changed since the beginning of the day and is still at 20, according to Hamieh.

“UNICEF stands ready to provide help to the children and families affected by this tragedy and remains committed to working with Lebanon and other countries in the region to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing at all times," UNICEF also said. 


BEIRUT — UNICEF on Friday said it is "deeply saddened by death toll from boat that sank off the coast of Syria coming from Lebanon" and considered that "yesterday's [Thursday's] tragedy, and those that have come before it, are harsh reminders that collective action is urgently needed to stop families dying at sea."In a statement, UNICEF said it "is deeply saddened by reports that several...