Two years since start of Syrian crisis: Situation critical for mothers and infants

Report
from Malteser
Published on 14 Mar 2013 View Original

Malteser International starts distribution of baby food in northern Syria

Cologne. On the second anniversary of the Syrian conflict that has so far caused more than 70,000 deaths and led more than one million to flee the country, Malteser International is calling attention to the daily struggle for survival of displaced Syrian mothers with small children.

“Their needs, especially the children’s needs, increase every single day”, says Thomas Molitor, emergency coordinator at Malteser International. “An adult can sometimes make do with less food. But infants need baby food in order to develop – and they need it every day”.

Recently, Malteser International scaled up its aid in the region to cover an additional 13,000 people, including new cross-border relief operations in Turkey and northern Syria. Distribution teams are bringing emergency food packages and baby food from Turkey into the Syrian districts of A’Zaz, Afrin and Al Bab, a rural, opposition-controlled region to the north of Aleppo. The food aid will benefit 750 families and 500 infants for a total of 5 months.

In Turkey, Malteser International is also supporting a school in the border district of Kilis, where 1,350 Syrian children currently attend classes. Malteser International is paying an allowance to teachers, subsidizing running costs, and supplying school materials, so the school can meet the high demand until at least next June. In addition, the children receive a healthy snack three times a week. “Children learn better when their stomachs aren’t empty”, Molitor says.

Malteser International has been helping the displaced population within Syria and in Turkey and Lebanon since July 2012. The organization distributed emergency kits, heating ovens, blankets and winter clothing to more than 20,000 people in the region. It has also supported a health clinic of the Order of Malta in Lebanon, which offers free health care to Syrian refugees, with medication and medical equipment.

Attention editors: Thomas Molitor, emergency relief coordinator, is available for interviews. Contact through Malteser International’s headquarters at +49 221-9822-169 or +49 151-146-29623.

Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 100 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.int