Syria

European Commission’s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) provides €5 million to the Red Cross for emergency aid and relief in Syria

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Copenhagen, 11.06.2014. The Danish Red Cross (DRC) together with its consortium partners, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the German Red Cross (GRC) and the Norwegian Red Cross (NRC) have received financial support of €5 million from ECHO to support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) to provide emergency support to people affected by the Syria crisis.

The programme is a continuation of the cooperation established between ECHO and the Red Cross Partners in Syria since 2010 supporting SARC to provide emergency health service, distribution of the non-food items to people affected by conflict, and strengthen logistics and emergency response capacities of SARC. This is the fourth funding decision granted by ECHO to Red Cross partners in Syria.

As the humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, nearly half of the country’s population has been severely affected by the conflict with 9.3 million people requiring humanitarian assistance. 6.5 million people are internally displaced, while more than 2.8 million Syrians have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries. Accessing emergency and basic health care for the people living in war-torn areas is all but impossible as 70 per cent of public hospitals and 27 per cent of primary health care facilities are out of service, either completely collapsed, or out of reach for the people in need. The shelter and settlement remains a big concern in Syria, as of November 2013, only 2.9% of the displaced populations have been accommodated in official shelters such as schools, and unused buildings, but without proper access to the basic hygiene and sanitation facilities. With the humanitarian crisis growing further, and continually increasing humanitarian needs, SARC requires scaling up its response capacities: priorities are the strengthening of the warehousing system to accommodate a large turnover of humanitarian assistance and the improvement of the emergency communication system.

In response to the urgent medical needs, the programme will support SARC to run strategically located 15 Health Points in the most conflict affected Governorate to provide emergency and basic medical services. The programme will also support SARC to manage some nine warehouses in the country, provide technical support to establish an emergency IT and Telecommunication system, and to distribute hygiene and baby kits in the areas that have higher concentration of the displaced population. Through the provision of the emergency health and care, and the distribution of hygiene materials, the programme will reach to 146,530 of the most vulnerable people in Syria.

The Commission's European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) was established in 1992. In 2004 ECHO became the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid before integrating Civil Protection in 2010 for a better coordination and disaster response inside and outside Europe. Since its creation 22 years ago, ECHO has provided emergency assistance and relief to the most vulnerable people in the most conflicts and disaster-prone regions.

More information on the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm