The Syrian civil war began three years ago

“The situation in Syria is bad and is getting worse” – an overview

by Lina Koch, Martina Zelt,  2014/03/01

“It is an enormous tragedy”, explains the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres at the Conference for Security Policy in Munich some weeks ago. He is talking about the civil war in Syria, the 3rd anniversary of which is being marked these days. Three years marked by unimaginable violence, immense flows of refugees and a confusing development. The end of the tragedy? Not in sight.

The consequences after three years of civil war are devastating: due to UN estimates, until February 2014, about 140,000 people have died of combat actions or insufficient supply of food and medicine. This will remain estimates, because the confusing situation inside the country makes it impossible to make any objective and fact-based surveys. The rest of the population still suffers from fear and hunger every day – at least 2 million Syrian children are currently acutely underfed.

The flows of refugees generate another humanitarian tragedy, which doesn’t only put a heavy strain on Syria itself, but also on the whole region. Besides the estimated 6.5 million people, who are on the flight inside Syria, another 2.4 million have already searched shelter in neighboring states, like Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. There, most of the time, they face life in provisory tents under worst conditions.

As Syria’s smallest neighbour with a surface area as big as the Swabian administrative district, Lebanon has, not only proportionally but also de facto, received most of the refugees. More than 960,000 people have found shelter here. Compared to this, Germany would have to receive 25 million refugees – an unimaginable situation!

This is a burden which leads the small Republic of Lebanon more and more to its limits and, thus, calls for the responsibility of the international community. Because, after three years of civil war, there still isn’t any sign of improvement of the fatal situation in Syria and the refugees’ return is therefore impossible at the moment. “The situation in Syria is bad and is getting worse”, UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimiis getting to the point. It is our duty to be at the side of the concerned people during this unprecedented catastrophe. It is our duty to show them that we haven’t forgotten them!

All beginnings fill the heart with hope – humedica help measures in and around Syria

Three years after the beginning of the civil war, humedica is still looking towards Syria with sorrow: the high number of casualties and the unimaginable pain of the Syrian population are shocking.

It seems nearly impossible to relieve the people’s distress. “But all beginnings fill the heart with hope”, as Pope John XXIII said. Directed help, the distribution of essential aid supplies and medical care – simply “charity in action” – can protect lives, heal wounds and give precious hope. In Lebanon, Syria and Iraq humedica has already been able to realize direct help and to stand by the concerned people.

Refugee help in Lebanon

In the Bekaa valley, in the East of Lebanon, not far from the Syrian border, an estimated number of 300,000 refugees have found shelter. Since September 2012, humedica has given precious help to the people who live there in different tent accommodations under precarious conditions.

In winter, the people there suffer especially from the cold, in springtime and in autumn, the camps in which between 50 and 1,000 refugees live closely confined, turn into a sea of mud and rubble. The sanitary conditions are insufficient, the food is scarce. All these conditions make the people sick, as if their wounds and traumata of the war weren’t enough. Lack of prospects is no rare guest – hunger and existential fear its regular companions.

The humedica help measures here are various. The people get food, sanitary articles and winter kits and there is medical care, too. Thanks to mobile hospitals, a big region can be cared for and many men, women and children can be helped. humedica continue their work in Lebanon, to support the concerned people in their difficult situation.

“Blankets for Syria” – warming hope

Because of the security situation, it is difficult for humedica to develop direct and continuous help measures in Syria. The country is too risky, too dangerous and inaccessible.

In November 2012, an investigation team of three came back from Syria deeply worried. The population was suffering from one factor which no one would have imagined in this way - the cold. The people live in bombed-out houses or tents, they sleep on the very ground and are subject to the cold temperatures without any protection. Especially for children a life-threatening situation.

After that, humedica started the campaign “blankets for Syria”, a campaign which met with much response. Thanks to many special donations, 9,300 warming blankets could be distributed in the North of Syria under risky conditions. In the course of this distribution, wheelchairs, crutches and winter shoes were also thankfully received.

Help for refugees in the North of Iraq

Also in the neighboring country Iraq, Syrians are searching protection and shelter. About 220,000 people have reached especially the Kurdish North and, under the most difficult conditions, are fighting for a new life there.

Many refugees live in the town as so-called urban refugees, with the hope of avoiding the very difficult conditions in the camps. They are desperately looking for work, in order to feed their families. Here, too, everything is lacking. From October 2013 to February 2014, humedica could realize the distribution of aid supplies in and around the city Sulaimaniyah. Kitchen sets, winter and sanitary kits offered some security and helped to overcome the cold season.

An overview of the humedica help measures

Lebanon

Syria

Iraq

• 26,425 treated patients

• 9,300 distributed winter blankets

• 400 distributed winter kits

• 4,014 distributed food parcels

• 1,500 distributed food parcels

• 600 distributed food parcels

• 2,054 distributed sanitary kits

• 1,250 distributed household kits

 

• 4,508 distributed winter blankets

   

• 4,750 distributed winter caps

   

• 500 distributed winter kits

   

• 7,642 distributed kerosene vouchers

   

Our commitment in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq could only be realized thanks to your support. Only this way wounds could be cared for, hunger could be satisfied and the violent signs of war could be healed step by step, even though only on the small scale. A start to help has been made, but the end of the bloody conflict is not in sight, our help is still indispensable.

Please support the concerned people and our work with a directed donation which makes hope possible. Thank you very much!

      humedica e. V.
      Reference “Syrian refugees”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

This article contains information from Spiegel Online and Zeit online.

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