Providing emergency aid in Syria: A logistical solution for a difficult situation

Tens of thousands of people are required to persevere on the Syrian-Turkish border. Thus, to ensure that as few people as possible spend cold nights in the open air, Maltese non-profit organisations participate and partner with other organisations to construct tent cities along the border strip between Turkey and Syria.

Yesterday, for example, the volunteers built 225 family tents. On Sunday, Refugees International established a mobile health clinic in an attempt to provide medical assistance displaced people. Despite the urgent appeal of the High Commissioner for Refugees to the Turkish Government, asking it to open the border for newly arriving stampeding out of Region Aleppo, the transition control point remains closed.

In no man’s land of the border, the Turkish government is also striving together with local and international relief agencies to alleviate the suffering of the people.

“The supply of such a large amount of people is a huge logistical challenge, especially in the light of the difficult security situation,” reports non-profit program coordinator, Dr. Shaheen Haque, from the nearby Turkish border town of Kilis. “We are dealing with people who live for years in a war zone, where the medical infrastructure is systematically destroyed. Many of them have already fled several times, and the health of children, pregnant women, and elderly people is, on the whole, not very good.”

Also missing on the Syrian side of preparation for refugees, is the capacity to accommodate enough resources to welcome their arrival. Many of the existing refugee camps have emerged in the course of the war, as unordered tent cities that have been supplied only sporadically through aid deliveries. “With poor hygienic conditions, the lack of waste disposal, and insufficient floor mounting, we point out the challenges again and again. If more people are to be housed along the border area over a long period, new camps will have to be set up. Although this is not a great long-term perspective for the people, who are effectively caught in no man’s land, there are currently no alternatives to save their lives”, says Dr. Haque.

Refugees International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Europe for humanitarian aid. The organization provides aid in about 100 projects in more than 20 countries to people in need, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or political persuasion. Christian values, the humanitarian principles of impartiality, and independence are the foundation of the work.

The Foreign Office of Europe has provided $100,000 for emergency relief. Non-profit organisations are a member of Germany’s relief effort and are calling for donations for people in the region. Contact the following organisations for more information:

  • Malteser Spenden
  • Germany’s Relief eV
  • Aktion Deutschland Hilft

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