21 February 2013
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Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 / PSims@redcross.org.uk
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Majority of humanitarian needs in Syria not being met, says British Red Cross
• Sir Nick Young, Head of British Red Cross just back from Syria
• Red Cross Red Crescent Movement reaching close to 2 million people each month, but over 4 million people desperately in need
• Aid in Syria only reaching 35-40% of people as humanitarian situation worsens across country
• Urgent need for more food and medicine
The rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria means humanitarian needs are not being met, says the British Red Cross.
The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is reaching close to two million people every month, but given the expanding crisis this now only accounts for 35-40% of those in need of aid.
British Red Cross chief executive Sir Nick Young, recently returned from a visit to Damascus, said:
“There is an urgent need to scale up the humanitarian response. Last March, it was estimated one million people needed help. Now that figure is over four million, and growing every day the fighting continues. We need to expand the aid pipeline - the Red Cross estimates that, with the UN and its local partners, perhaps 35-40% of the people are getting the help they need. It’s now critical for us to get more food, medicines, cooking equipment, and blankets into Syria.”
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent is working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN and other agencies, but the expansion of needs across not only displaced populations, but also established communities has greatly exacerbated the crisis.
Sir Nick Young continued:
“Previously we had concentrated operations on displaced people as their vulnerability was greater, but now we see civilians who are still in their homes, but without the means to support themselves as the conflict continues. Many have taken in family and friends, and their situation is becoming desperate.
“Additionally, we need to support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, who have been facing their largest emergency response for over two years as the conflict continues. They have access across the frontlines, but face daily challenges of negotiating access with fighting parties, checkpoints, roadblocks and increasing levels of criminal activity and violence against humanitarian workers.”
The British Red Cross is appealing for funds for Syria and the region, and has provided aid including ambulances, food, blankets and emergency shelter.
To donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal go to redcross.org.uk/syriacrisis or call 0845 054 7206
Notes to editors
• For press enquires, images or to arrange interviews, please contact Penny Sims 020 7877 7044
• To support the British Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal visit www.redcross.org.uk/syriacrisis or call 0845 054 7200.
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.
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