Syria: situation remains difficult

09-03-2012 Operational Update

The situation remains difficult in many parts of the country. Needs are great, both in Homs following the recent fighting there and in other regions affected by the unrest. Cold weather and a deteriorating economic situation are making it even harder for people to cope. 

The priority is to continue helping the most affected people in Abel, Hama, Idlib, Dara'a and rural Damascus, including those who fled the Baba Amr district of Homs. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the ICRC have assisted thousands of people over the past few days alone. 

Evacuation of the wounded and the safety of medical personnel are two prime concerns. A casualty's life often depends on how quickly an emergency team can evacuate and treat them. Anyone who is ill or has been wounded must be able to obtain medical care, and medical staff and facilities must be protected at all times. 

Over the past few days: 

  • In Abel (10 km from Homs) food and hygiene items have been provided for about 2,700 people. They will be receiving mattresses and blankets in the coming days. People who fled to Abel because of the fighting in the Baba Amr district in Homs have also received aid. They had left in a hurry, leaving all their belongings behind, and were very happy to see the ICRC/SARC team for the second time in four days. SARC volunteers treated a number of children in Abel who were ill. 
  • In addition, Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have carried out the following activities, with ICRC supplies: 
  • People living in the northern city of Hama and the villages nearby have been receiving regular aid from the SARC. Some of these people have fled other regions, while others are residents of the area, affected by the deteriorating economic situation. 
  • People in Idlib (North-West) have been receiving aid daily, while SARC volunteers continued to monitor the situation there closely, so as to be able to respond to needs as they arose. 
  • Food and other relief items have been distributed in Dara'a (South), and in particular outside the city, where both residents and people displaced from other cities such as Homs are in considerable need. 
  • Aid has been delivered to various parts of Rural Damascus province. On 7 March, for example, distributions took place in Al-Kisweh (about 20 kilometres south of Damascus), Yabrud (65 kilometres north of Damascus) and Al-Nabak (75 kilometres north of Damascus). 

Finally, SARC sent a convoy on Thursday 8 March to the area of Al-Raqqa (north-eastern Syria) to help residents and nomads there who are suffering the consequences of the economic situation caused by the unrest. The supplies included 1,500 food parcels, 1,000 blankets and 500 portions of milk for babies.


Homs, Syria. Damaged cars and houses in the district of Inshaat. 

Homs, Syria. Damaged cars and houses in the district of Inshaat.
© Reuters