The Red Cross to establish a field hospital in Jordan

Tatu Blomqvist
Tatu Blomqvist
Tatu Blomqvist
Tatu Blomqvist
Henna Korte

The second batch of Red Cross hospital equipment to Jordan was loaded late this Monday night at Helsinki Airport.

Equipment and eight delegates left on a free-of-charge test flight provided by Airbus for Amman on Tuesday at 8 a.m.

The Finnish Red Cross is leading the union of the Red Cross organisations of Germany, Norway and Canada, which is to set up a full-size local hospital at the refugee camp that will open in early September in the northeastern desert of Jordan. The hospital will treat refugees from Syria.

The first two trucks loaded with hospital supplies left from Finland for Berlin already last Tuesday. The supplies provided by Finns, Norwegians and Germans were flown from Berlin to Amman.

Hospital a crucial part in health care for refugees

The hospital will be located in the new refugee camp that is close to the city of Azraq, approximately 70 kilometres from the capital Amman and around an hour and half’s drive from the Syrian border.  

- The hospital plays an important part in the camp’s health care system; we take care of childbirths, among other things. The conditions are harsh as the refugees coming to the camp may have ailments that have not been treated for a long time, but the weather is also very harsh. In the summer, the sun beats down as hot as +44 degrees Celsius. On winter nights, the temperature drops down below zero. There are no hospital services nearby so we want to start building the hospital as soon as possible. This is how Henna Korte from the Finnish Red Cross describes the situation. She leads the aid work at the location.

In the early stage, the hospital will be built in tents. In November-December, the fixed structures for the hospital should be completed.

The Red Cross has committed to maintaining the hospital for at least one year. In the early stage, the hospital has been designed to help 55,000 people. When the hospital is fully functional, it can serve 133,000 inhabitants. This hospital on the level of a local hospital requires every day at least 40 international delegates and 130 local employees.

Collecting for Syrian refugees on Hunger Day

Some of the profits from the Hunger Day collection are used to help Syrian refugees.

- We need the help of citizens for our field hospital as well as for helping those suffering from the war in other ways, pleads Kalle Löövi, Director of International Operations at the Finnish Red Cross.

- With the help of the Hunger Day collections, we have been able to create a hospital preparedness that is currently needed.

The Syrian war refugees need even more help than before – in Syria as well as in its neighbouring countries of Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. Approximately 2.5 million refugees are in the neighbouring countries, around a quarter of them in Jordan. The numbers will continue to grow unless the conflict can be stopped. According to estimates, there are 4.25 million internally displaced people within Syria, and the number of people in need of help totals more than 10 million.

Funding for the Jordan hospital comes from many sources

The Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission, ECHO, is supporting the project with EUR 7 million, and the Canadian government with EUR 1.8 million. The Italian government has donated the fixed structures for the field hospital, which cost EUR 1 million. The free flight provided by Airbus is worth approximately EUR 200,000. Finnair also participated in the project. It did not charge for work at the airport.