ABU DHABI, 22nd February 2016 (WAM) — Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Anthony Lake hailed the agreement on the terms of a cessation of hostilities in Syria and said for Syria’s children it is welcome news after five years of brutal conflict.

If implemented, a cessation of hostilities represents an opportunity to begin the work of repairing a country that has suffered far too much for far too long – and to reach the children who are Syria’s future, Lake said in an emailed press release.

“UNICEF welcomes this diplomatic progress. Now it must be matched by action. Action to end the violence and destruction. Action by all parties to the conflict to permit unlimited and unconditional access to reach all (Syrian) children and families with desperately needed humanitarian assistance, including food, water, vaccinations and medical supplies. And action to permit children to return to school and a normal childhood,” Lake added.