10 years in the middle of a conflict – Situation in Syria gets worse by the day

A small Syrian child holding a Red Cross aid package

In addition to the unrest, the economic crisis, large number of refugees and the coronavirus pandemic have driven Syrians into deeper distress.

There are over 13 million Syrians in need of aid. One of them is five-year-old Muhammad, who like all other children in Syria has lived his whole short life in the middle of a conflict.

Muhammad is paraplegic, making his situation particularly difficult. Muhammad had to spend his days inside, which made him unhappy. His mother’s heart ached at the pain of her son.

Their neighbours told the mother that the Syrian Arab Red Crescent could help the family. She headed to the Red Crescent branch in the city of Daraa and the family received help immediately.

Based on the advice provided by the Red Crescent, the boy was granted a card that shows he needs support.

Red Crescent volunteers referred the family to a paediatrician and the boy’s health began to be monitored regularly. The doctor noticed that the boy’s weight was not developing normally and prescribed nutrition supplements.

Muhammad also received a wheelchair and can now go outdoors with his mother.

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In Syria, many injured people remain physically impaired due to the lack of appropriate rehabilitation. Many suffer from health problems and require psychosocial support. Some disabled children and young people receive aid, but others lack the opportunity to learn to live independently.

Severe shortage of food

The majority of Syrians live below the poverty limit: 80 per cent of people have only around €1.5 per day at their disposal, while the prices of basic supplies doubled in the past year.

Furthermore, the conflict that has already lasted ten years has collapsed Syria’s health care, and many people are unable to pay for health care services.

Just a couple of months ago, Abdul’s life was in danger. His panicked mother took her child to the Red Crescent clinic from where they were immediately directed to the malnutrition ward.

The Red Cross aid workers specialising in caring for malnourished children provided the family with suitable, nutritious food for the child and instructions on monitoring his condition.

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Thanks to the treatment, Abdul’s condition began to improve in just two weeks. The boy got better, and the mother’s heart is no longer gripped with fear of losing her child.

The Red Cross helps far and wide

The Finnish Red Cross supports the extensive aid operation of the International Red Cross in Syria in order to help people rebuild their lives and receive basic supplies, such as food, water and health care.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s activities preventing the spread of the coronavirus, e.g. information campaigns about prevention, psychosocial support and distributed hygiene packets, have already helped over two million people.

The Finnish Red Cross has been supporting the Syrian Arab Red Crescent since 2013.

The support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the European Union and donors has made it possible to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, for example.

“The Finnish Red Cross supports the activities of units that offer physiotherapy as well as mobile teams that make home visits to those in need in 11 localities in Syria,” explains Finnish Red Cross aid worker Angelika Forsström from Damascus in Syria. Disabled people also receive assistive devices that make life easier.

Last year, the International Red Cross improved the access to clean water and basic infrastructure for 16 million people and distributed household supplies, such as hygiene products and blankets, to 1.2 million people.

Information on the rules of war

Spreading information on the rules of war is one of the core tasks of the Red Cross. This year, the Finnish Red Cross will begin to support the strengthening of humanitarian law in Syria.

Our aim is to train Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and new trainers to distribute information about humanitarian law. This work is made possible thanks to donors to the Disaster Relief Fund.

 

Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid
Development cooperation
Development cooperation