4 December 2012
For further information contact:
Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 / PSims@redcross.org.uk
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Red Cross steps up Syria aid response as winter temperatures bite
• Winter aid distribution for 115,000 people underway via road and sea into Syria
• The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) are among very few major agencies able to work across the frontlines in Syria
• The British Red Cross Syria Appeal is still open for donations at: www.redcross.org.uk/syriacrisis
The British Red Cross have begun a major push to get additional aid into Syria ahead of the worsening winter weather.
Aid convoys from Dubai are heading into Syria carrying emergency bedding, tarpaulins and other aid. A ‘winterisation package’ of electric heaters, high-thermal blankets and tarpaulins will also be distributed via the Turkish Red Crescent to three camps on the border as night-time temperatures continue to drop.
Margaret Lally, Head of Disaster Management for the British Red Cross, said:
“We are extremely worried about the huge numbers of people in Syria who have taken refuge in buildings or tents with no adequate heating, warm clothing or blankets. There is a real danger to people’s health, especially as temperatures approach freezing. It’s vital that we get this extra relief into Syria ahead of the severe winter weather.”
Twenty-eight truckloads of aid for 23,000 households (115,000 people) will travel in convoys from Dubai, with additional supplies coming in via sea ports into Syria. Supplies include 46,000 mattresses and tarpaulins, 115,000 high-thermal blankets and 23,000 hygiene kits.
James Beal, Logistics Officer, said:
“This is a major operation, requiring staggered delivery convoys travelling from Dubai, sourcing other aid from within Syria where possible, and getting additional shipments in via sea ports. The first convoy is already en route, with another four to follow. We’re working closely with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to get everything into the country on time, and then get these items out to those who are the most vulnerable.”
The British Red Cross is also providing electric heaters, high-thermal blankets and tarpaulins to 10,000 Syrians in three refugee camps along the Turkish border via partners from the Turkish Red Crescent.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent is providing 1.5 million people each month with food and other aid in conjunction with the World Food Programme, and is providing ambulance services and basic health care across the country.
To donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal go to redcross.org.uk/syriacrisis or call 0845 054 7206.
For spokespeople and interviews on the British Red Cross appeal please contact: Penny Sims (firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 207 877 7548)
Notes to editors
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk or follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/britishredcross
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.