23 March 2012
Since December, the impact of fighting on the humanitarian situation in Syria has increased significantly. Thousands of people have fled their homes, leaving behind most of their belongings. Many are displaced within the country or have crossed over to neighbouring Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been helping people affected by the fighting, insecurity and resulting economic difficulties. It has recently had better access to some of the worst affected areas such as Homs, Idlib, Hama and Dara’a.
In recent days, the Movement has given aid to nearly 9,000 in Homs and Idlib provinces, and brought 1,500 food parcels to Aleppo. Nearly 3,000 people in Manbij, Al-Bab, Maskanah and along the Turkish border have received aid.
On 20 March, when the Movement visited Idlib to distribute food parcels to 6,000 displaced persons and residents, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent branch clinic was the only functioning medical facility in the town centre. Jeroen Carrin, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) relief delegate at the scene, said: “People had been waiting since early morning. The ICRC was the only international organisation to bring aid into the city."
Nearly 3,000 displaced people and host families in Za'afaranah, near Homs, received aid – including 1,800 food parcels, 1,200 mattresses, 1,200 blankets and 600 hygiene kits – on 19 and 20 March. The Movement also visited nearby schools, where many displaced people are staying.
Béatrice Mégevand-Roggo, ICRC head of operations for the Middle East, said: “As the fighting fluctuates, the ICRC and the SARC have to adapt their humanitarian response, in order to locate people who have fled and to help them as quickly and as effectively as possible. People have to know that they will get the help they need and that casualties will be taken care of regardless of where the fighting is taking place."
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