accessibility & help

Red Cross helps thousands during Syrian unrest

14 June 2011

The Red Cross is helping thousands of people affected by the unrest in Syria, including many fleeing to Turkey and Lebanon.

The British Red Cross is using £100,000 from its internal funding and £70,000 from its Libya & Region Appeal to pay for relief items, particularly food, and five ambulances for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to use in its response to the unrest.

The British Red Cross is a long-standing partner of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and has been providing support to its day-to-day work for many years.

Requests for access

People, including children, in a Red Crescent camp©Reuters/ AlertnetMeanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has asked for immediate access to all those affected, including people arrested or detained.

''Despite repeated requests to the Syrian authorities, we have not been granted meaningful access to those in need. We are determined to assist people who are having to cope with the violence. And we are determined to visit those who have been detained," said ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger. "Vital humanitarian assistance must reach vulnerable people without delay.''

Along with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the ICRC has carried out short visits to Daraa, Tartous and Homs in the past month. "We remain committed to supporting the life-saving efforts of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent," said Mr Kellenberger. "However, in the framework of these limited visits, it was difficult to acquire a full picture of the situation on the ground and of the magnitude of humanitarian needs."

Refugees in Turkey and Lebanon

The Turkish Red Crescent, which has been operating a refugee camp for thousands of people, many of them women and children, coming over the border with Syria for the last five weeks, is now building a second camp as hundreds continue to arrive.

Its initial camp was set up on the outskirts of Yayladagi, a village of 6,300 where many speak Arabic as a first language and have families scattered both sides of the border.

In the last month, thousands have also crossed from Syria to Lebanon, where the Lebanese Red Cross has set up a first aid post to provide healthcare to displaced families.

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