Finnish Red Cross: “The situation in Syria has crossed the limits of humanity”

Ibrahim Malla / IFRC
Ibrahim Malla / IFRC
Ibrahim Malla / IFRC

Friday 13 March 2015 marks four years since the start of the Syrian conflict. There is no end in sight for the most destructive humanitarian crisis of the decade.

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By the start of the year, over half of Syria’s population of 21.5 million had been forced to flee their homes. That is twice the population of Finland. According to the UN Refugee Agency, UNCHR, approximately eight million people live as refugees within Syria, and three million people have fled to the neighbouring countries.

– This extended conflict has long since crossed the limits of humanity. The number of Syrians suffering has increased from one million to a total of over 12 million in a few years. The need for aid is enormous, says Kalle Löövi, the Director of International Operations of the Finnish Red Cross.

The highest number of Syrians are in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, where the aid for refugees is spread thin. The majority of Syrian refugees live outside the refugee camps, which causes pressure on the organisation of healthcare services and basic security in the receiving communities.

The Finnish Red Cross helps on both sides of the border

The Finnish Red Cross helps Syrians both within and outside Syria. With the funds of the Disaster Relief Fund, resources such as food aid, hygiene supplies, and drinking water have been distributed in the areas suffering from the conflict the most. In addition to this, aid has been offered to those who have left their homes. The aid for refugees has also been supported with funds from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The hospital in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan is the most extensive investment outside Syria. The hospital offers various healthcare services to the Syrian refugees. Since December, a hundred children have been born in the hospital, and since the start of the year there have been over 3,000 patients.

The Finnish Red Cross is leading the hospital project with the German, Norwegian, and Canadian Red Cross organisations also participating in it. Several Finnish aid workers work in the hospital. The hospital is supported by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

For the International Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the Syrian conflict is an enormous aid operation that will last for a long time. Approximately four million Syrians in need of help receive support from the organisations every month.