Syria: need for humanitarian aid greater than ever

17-08-2012 Operational Update

The situation in Aleppo and the surrounding rural areas is extremely tense as fighting continues in several districts. The number of killed and wounded rises daily and thousands more have been displaced. Despite the difficulties, volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) continue to help those in need.

Some people have fled to Turkey, while others are moving from one area to another , hoping to find refuge in schools and other public buildings.

“Fighting continues in and around other cities in addition to Aleppo, including Homs, Damascus, Deir Ezzor, Idlib and Deraa,” says Marianne Gasser, head of the ICRC delegation in Damascus. “We are very concerned about the effects that the fighting is having on civilians in these areas.”

Wherever possible, the SARC helps those trapped in the fighting by evacuating the sick and wounded and by providing emergency aid. In the past three weeks, the ICRC and the SARC have supplied thousands of people with food, drinking water and other types of aid. Despite the very tense and volatile situation in Aleppo, SARC volunteers have managed to deliver emergency aid to thousands of people, most of them living in 80 schools around the city.

Over the past week, the SARC has carried out the following activities, with ICRC support:

  • In Damascus, the SARC provided aid to some 25,000 displaced people staying in 62 schools.
  • Between 13 and 15 August, in the governorates of Rural Damascus, Idlib, Hama and Homs, SARC volunteers distributed food to more than 7,000 people. In addition, the Society distributed 1,470 family food parcels and 1,070 Ramadan parcels, (each containing 1 kg of dates and 1 kg of dried apricots), 1,000 hygiene kits, 9,900 mattresses and 500 sleeping mats.
  • In Rural Damascus, in coordination with the SARC’s Rural Damascus branch, aid was delivered to local committees for immediate distribution to displaced families, most of them from the Al Tal area.
  • On 12 August, in the governorates of Aleppo, Damascus, Rural Damascus, Homs and Tartous, the SARC delivered food to around 12,000 people, together with 4,200 Ramadan parcels (each containing 1 kg dates and 1 kg dried apricots), 2,000 hygiene kits, 2,500 mattresses and 500 sleeping mats, helping to meet the needs of some 22,000 people.

Water continues to be delivered by truck to Al Nabek (at least 60 cubic metres a day) and Tal Kurdi (at least 30 cubic metres), providing drinking water for a total of 65,000 displaced persons.

Work continues on water systems in Aleppo, Damascus, Rural Damascus, Deir Ezzor and Homs.


For further information, please contact:
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 41 or +41 79 536 92 57
Rabab Al-Rifaï, ICRC Damascus, tel: +963 993 700 847 or +963 11 331 0476


Azaz, 47 km north of Aleppo, Syria. 

Azaz, 47 km north of Aleppo, Syria.
© Reuters / G. Tomasevic