Cologne/Damascus. Every day, thousands of people flee from the brutal assaults in Iraq. According to UNHCR, about 4.2 million Iraqis are on the run. Among the neighbouring countries, Syria took in the highest number of refugees: about 1.4 million. In the Syrian cities of Damascus and Aleppo, Malteser International supports the most vulnerable Iraqi families. On the basis of a cooperation agreement between Malteser International and the Turkish partner organisation IBC (International Blue Crescent Humanitarian Relief and Development Foundation), 100 refugee families are supplied with so called "start-up kits": a basic kit with soap, further hygiene items and cookware.
In addition, during the next months every family will receive an amount of altogether 900 US Dollar. "Syria has a good functioning market. By giving cash money, the people can choose what they need and buy these articles on the local market. Thereby, we also support the local economy", Roland Hansen, Head of the Asia Desk of Malteser International, explains.
Due to financial problems, many of the Iraqi refugee children but also very poor Syrian children cannot go to school. Thus, Malteser International and IBC distribute school material such as bags, booklets, pencils and books among both groups. "By enabling also Syrian children to go to school, we prevent that the local population feels neglected compared with Iraqi refugees. Thereby, we make our contribution to ensure social peace in those city districts most affected by the streams of refugees", Hansen points out.
Attention editorial offices! Roland Hansen, Head of the Asia Desk of Malteser International, as well as Muzafer Baca, Vice-President of IBC, are available for interviews. Please contact: +49 221 98 22 155.
For its projects in Syria, Malteser International appeals for donations:
Donation Account 120 120 120
Bank fuer Sozialwirtschaft, Woerthstr.15-17, D-50668 Koeln
Sort Code 370 205 00, IBAN : DE49 3702 0500 0001 0258 01, BIC: BFSWDE33XXX
Reference: "Refugee Aid"