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British Red Cross funds assist Syria aid operation

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Penny Sims 0207 877 7044 / 
Out of officer pager: 07659 145 095

·In the past week, two convoys of Red Cross aid reached the cities of Homs and Bludan, bringing food, medical supplies, blankets and other aid

·A total of £500,000 has been given to the Syrian Red Crescent and International Red Cross from the British Red Cross Disaster Fund

·British Red Cross funds have provided 8 ambulances, 3,000 food parcels, 200 hygiene kits and other essential aid

·Full details of aid operation at end of this release

As the International Red Cross expresses concern for the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, the British Red Cross have released additional money from their Disaster Fund to support the aid effort.

The British Red Cross, which has a long-standing partnership with the Syrian Red Crescent, has pledged a further £150,000, bringing the total donated to £500,000. Funds have already been used to purchase eight additional ambulances, 3,000 food parcels and other essential aid.

Barry Armstrong, British Red Cross disaster response manager, said:
“The situation is worsening, especially in Homs and Al Zabadani. This week two more convoys of aid reached Homs and the city of Bludan, where thousands of people have fled to escape the fighting in Al Zabadani.

“We have a long-standing partnership with the Syrian Red Crescent and have been working with them since 2004 to train over one thousand volunteers in first aid and emergency relief operations.”

Currently, the Red Cross is one of the few aid agencies working effectively with people affected by the unrest.

Marianne Gasser, head of the ICRC's delegation in Syria, said:
"We are greatly concerned about the consequences of the unrest from a humanitarian viewpoint and about the current deterioration of the situation. The population, particularly the wounded and sick, are bearing the brunt of the violence."

Despite the violence, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the ICRC are planning further missions to continue providing humanitarian aid to people affected by the unrest in Syria.

Overview of aid operation to date:
·Over 14,000 ICRC food parcels, each of which contains food for six people for one month, have been distributed (a total of 85,000 people)

·30,000 school kits, each of which contains a school bag and a complete set of stationery, have been distributed to children from poor households in affected areas.

·Over 3,000 blankets have been distributed by the ICRC and/or the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

·The ICRC has donated wound-dressing materials and supplies for the treatment of patients with violence-related injuries to private and government hospitals in Hama, Dara'a, Homs and Idlib, and to Syrian Arab Red Crescent headquarters for the use of first aid volunteers.

·The ICRC has donated triage kits, stretchers, wheelchairs and trolleys to hospitals where the injured and the dead have been taken.

·The ICRC has provided four mobile first aid and healthcare units, 700 first aid bags, a large variety of medical supplies, and 600 body bags for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

·The Syrian Arab Red Crescent has distributed thousands of food parcels, blankets, mattresses and medications to the neediest people in at least 20 cities, towns and villages affected by the unrest.


For spokespeople and interviews please contact Penny Sims (, +44 207 877 7044) or the International Committee of the Red Cross:
Saleh Dabbakeh (Damascus) +9 63 99 3700 847
Hicham Hassan _41 217 3025 41 or +41 7953 69 257


Notes to editors
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.