Appeal to help Syrian citizens displaced by the crisis through the winter

Geneva, Ankara, Budapest: Since early 2011, the civil unrest in Syria has caused mass displacement within Syria and into its neighbouring countries. The Turkish Red Crescent Society is extending its existing response to prepare for the onset of winter and to increase its assistance to up to 170.000 displaced people over the coming months.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launches an Emergency Appeal for 32,3 million Swiss francs to support the Turkish Red Crescent in providing winter assistance to 100,000 people presently living in the camps, emergency food and non-food assistance to up to 20,000 people at the Turkish-Syrian border, as well as to stock contingency food and non-food items for additionally 50,000 people. The Turkish Red Crescent provides all assistance exclusively from the Turkish side of the border and does not engage in any cross-border activities.

As an auxiliary to the Government, the Turkish Red Crescent has since the onset of the crisis, been providing essential food and non-food relief items and camp service provision to the thousands of Syrian citizens seeking temporary protection across the border and sheltered in 14 camps. The overall mandate for the camp management is with the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (“AFAD”), who had registered 110,649 Syrians in the camps by November 5, 2012.

The number of people in the camps has doubled since July, due to the increased fighting in Aleppo and other areas, and UNHCR expects the number of Syrians seeking protection in neigbouring countries to increase dramatically in the coming months.

“This Emergency Appeal will help us provide cooking stoves, heaters, blankets and other winter items for the Syrians already living in Southern Turkey, as well as essential food, hygiene kits, blankets and other items for up to 20,000 people waiting at the border” says Deniz Solen, coordinator of Governance Services & International relations in the Turkish Red Crescent. “Additionally it will help us provide contingency stocks such as tents, blankets and mattresses and other items for up to 50,000 people if the influx continues.“

Included in the winter programme and the Emergency Appeal are plans to buy “multipurpose tents”, which will be used for warehousing and social activities such as canteen, schooling, activity halls, meetings and briefings, and psychosocial activities.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil¬lion people each year through its 187 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

For more information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

Geneva: Benoit Carpentier, manager (acting), Public Communications +41 79 213 2413 ¦ Benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org

Budapest: Lasse Norgaard, Zone Communication Coordinator +36 70 953 7704 ¦ lasse.norgaard@ifrc,org

Budapest: Giovanni Zambello, Zone Communication Delegate +36 70 953 7709 giovanni.zambello@ifrc.org