Syria

Increasing aid to displaced Syrians after need escalates

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More than 70,000 people are living in desperate conditions on the Turkish border with Syria after military action newly displaced tens of thousands of people.

Around 40,000 of these have come from Aleppo city, in north-west Syria, following the escalating government assault earlier this year.

Islamic Relief is providing emergency aid to those who are now living on the Turkish border with no shelter and little food.

The team in the field has urgently relocated winter items to those who have been newly displaced, including 8,000 items of clothing, 8,000 pairs of winter boots for children, and more than 10,000 children’s winter coats.

Emergency food has been distributed. Islamic Relief has reallocated food destined for places that have now become so dangerous that people are leaving. The World Food Programme has funded 8,000 ready-to-eat meals for Islamic Relief to distribute. Humanitarian staff have also provided three containers of vital medical supplies for hospitals in Aleppo city.

Ahmed Mahmoud, from Islamic Relief’s Syria team, said: “The situation in northern Syria has deteriorated drastically since military activities cut off a vital supply route into Aleppo city. We are talking about tens of thousands of people who had already been suffering for five years, experiencing yet more severe shocks that have forced them to leave their homes. Some of these have been displaced for the third and fourth time.”

The situation could get still worse. Islamic Relief is worried about another 300,000 people, who could be left isolated if further supply routes are cut off and areas in Aleppo city become totally besieged.

Ahmed Mahmoud added: “In the short term, we are doing everything we can to get food, clothing and health care to people who are living with only the materials they could carry from their home. We are relocating supplies to areas that could potentially become besieged. Critical action is desperately needed to secure humanitarian access to all affected areas, and to stop the indiscriminate bombing and shelling of civilians and their homes and schools.”

The attacks on Aleppo came days after international donors meeting in London pledged more than $10 billion for 2016 to support Syrian refugees and displaced people.

Participants at the conference, including leaders of the UK, Germany, Kuwait and Norway, pledged to use their influence with all parties to the conflict to halt abuses of international humanitarian law and allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unimpeded access throughout Syria.