Civilians constantly on the move in Syria
There are no safe areas for civilians in Syria at the moment, forcing women and children to constantly move around to find security. A €1.2 mill donation from the Danish Government strengthens the ability of the Danish Refugee Council to reach the vulnerable civilians in both Syria and the neighboring countries.
Military actions in Syria by both sides have been harsh on the civilian population forcing mainly woman and children to constantly move around in search of a safe place. According to the UN an estimated 1 million people are currently internally displaced inside Syria, while about 300.000 registered and unregistered Syrians have fled to the neighboring countries.
“At the beginning of the conflict most Syrians were moving towards the larger cities as they could find safety there. This is no longer the case and most of the displaced are therefore forced to move around. They are scared and due to the uncertainty very stressed right now,” says Ann Mary Olsen, head of the DRC International Department.
With the new funding by the Danish Government, DANIDA, and in close corporation with the Syrian Arab Red Cresent (SARC), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is to provide emergency items focusing on winterization, as well as rehabilitation of schools for emergency educational purposes as well as for collective centres if no other shelter options are available for the displaced.
”Winter with near-zero temperatures and cold winds is approaching as civilians experience increasing effects of the conflict. Many have fled with minimal possesions, they lack required clothes and equipment to endure the cold – and they will have to survive without heating as there is no fuel available,” says Ann Mary Olsen, explaining that DRC has high focus on addressing the needs of winterization.
DRC has been working in Syria since 2007 and is well established in the region. This enables DRC to quickly shift both financial as well as human resources between country programs, depending on where the greatest value can be added in assisting the conflict and displacement affected populations. This includes expanding the already large involvement in Lebanon.
“In the beginning the refugees found shelter in the north – now they are settling all the way down to the south as well. DRC has moved its assistance with them, today providing assistance both in the North, in the Center and soon also in the South of Lebanon,” says Ann Mary Olsen.