SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

UNICEF Ambassador Pau Gasol comes back from Iraq

Pau Gasol, a two-time NBA champion and UNICEF Spanish Committee Ambassador, returned on Tuesday from meeting with Syrian refugees in Iraq.

Gasol met with a large number of children in Iraq. He also toured some of the UNICEF programs being implemented in Iraq, including the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities, primary education, health care and child protection services.

"I met children who have fled from a tragic situation in Syria and now depend on urgent humanitarian aid to save their lives and give them an opportunity to build a new life," Gasol said. "It's so shocking to see what some of the hundreds of thousands of children who have been affected by the conflict in Syria have experienced. No child should experience such violence and destruction and be deprived of the basic services that they need to grow and develop to fulfill their potential."

The growing number of Syrian refugees is beginning to stretch UNICEF's resources. Part of UNICEF's job is to vaccinate children against disease like measles and more than 2.4 million children have been provided so far. UNICEF needs around 159 million euros to continue providing services to Syrian children.

"Providing these services is a huge job," Gasol said. "While we can see some good results, the needs are enormous. So much more help is needed."