Hunger Day challenges everyone to help the victims of the Syrian civil war

 Pawel Krzysiek
In many areas of Syria there is a serious lack of basic human needs such as water and sanitation, food and healthcare. You can help by taking part in Hungerday campaign.
Image: Pawel Krzysiek

Health care services in Syria have all but collapsed, and help is needed urgently. To this end the Finnish Red Cross is challenging everyone to participate in the Hunger Day Collection, to be held on 15–17 September.

On Hunger Day, you can donate:
  • By calling the number 0600 12220 (€20.12 + local network charge)
  • By texting ’SPR’ to 16499 (€15 per text message)
  • Online at Hungerday.fi
  • Through MobilePay, using the number 040 135 88 00

The five-year Syrian civil war has severely damaged the country's health care system. As a result, getting treatment is difficult, and medication is hard to come by. The situation is particularly bad in the urban areas of northern Syria and especially in Aleppo. 

Currently there are approximately 11.5 million Syrians in need of health care and medical services.

The lack of treatment is threatening the lives of people suffering from chronic illnesses in particular. The current number of people suffering from conditions that require continuous treatment is 600,000. (source: UNOCHA: Humanitarian needs overview, Syrian Arab Republic 2016)

"Medication is needed for the treatment of cardiovascular and kidney disorders and diabetes, for example. More help is also needed for the treatment of children’s diseases. There are currently 4.7 million children in Syria in need of medical care", says Johanna Klinge, the Finnish Red Cross' Regional DM Advisor - MENA, who works in the area.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is currently running 28 health stations and clinics in Syria, as well as a number of mobile care units. These clinics provide basic health care services comparable to those provided at Finnish health stations, as well as the services of eye specialists and obstetricians. 

Lack of food has started to manifest itself in the form of malnutrition in children, putting them at risk of a number of diseases. To combat this the Finnish Red Cross' sister organisation, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has established a malnutrition centre for small children in the city of Homs, where children are provided with food and medication.

"In the midst of war, the most vulnerable groups are children, women, the elderly and disabled people. The Red Cross and the Red Crescent help everyone impartially based on their need for help", says Klinge.

Volunteers needed for Hunger Day

The Finnish Red Cross is challenging everyone to participate in the Hunger Day Collection, which will be held on 15–17 September all around Finland. The purpose of the Hunger Day Collection is to raise uncommitted funds to help the victims of wars and natural disasters. The funds are also used in Finland to help the victims of sudden accidents, such as fires.

This year the funds collected will be used for aid work in Syria, among other things. With donors' contributions, the Red Cross can also continue its aid work in Greece's refugee camps, which currently house large numbers of Syrian refugees. The Finnish Red Cross runs three health clinics at the refugee camps, which currently employ 11 Finnish aid workers.

"War victims need our help now and the Hunger Day Collection provides a good way to help", appeals John Ekelund, Director of Fundraising at the Finnish Red Cross.

You can participate in the Hunger Day Collection either by donating or volunteering as a box collector. Everyone is welcome to volunteer as a box collector, no prior experience is needed. You can collect for just half an hour or even for an entire day, based on your own schedule.

You can sign up for the Hunger Day Collection.

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