As civil unrest spreads across Syria, the Red Cross reported Wednesday that more than 1/3 of the country is without reliable cable, and over 1 million Syrians still lack access to the Disney Channel.
The United Nations has appealed to the United States and other western governments for $35 million to re-establish The Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD programming bloc as quickly as possible. “Many Syrians continue to face daily hardships brought about by the recent internal conflict. Our only priority is to assist in the restoration of public services and improve the daily lives of more than 1 million Syrians that have been affected. Central to that goal is bringing Disney’s emotional connections and magical, heartfelt stories back into Syrian living rooms,” said Jorgen Kark-Harden, president of Toons Without Borders, a volunteer, non-profit group that sends current and former entertainment executives into war-torn areas of the world to help local governments restart vital and lucrative digital content revenue streams for the west.
Though about 30 TWB observers have been trying to calm displaced civilians and help restart strategic multi-player video game networks as well as key cable and Internet services, without a larger force, their efforts appear doomed. The stakes are high and time appears in short supply. Just last week, a squad of Google tech commandos was stopped at the Syrian border near the Turkish city of Antakya. Reports indicate their clandestine mission was to repair and reconnect damaged satellite facilities outside Aleppo used to distribute YouTube feeds throughout the country. Google officials had no comment when contacted about the alleged repair team operation.