As fighting continues in Syria, the IRC ramps up support for refugees
A Syrian refugee family receives meals in their temporary home in the Jordanian city of Ramtha.
Photo: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji, courtesy Trust.org - AlertNet
Despite the presence of close to 30 United Nations peacekeepers now deployed in Syria, and ten times that number on the way, an agreed cease-fire remains fragile at best. Sporadic clashes between government troops and rebels occur daily, while Syrians continue to flee to safety in neighboring countries.
Many are crossing into Jordan, where the International Rescue Committee is boosting its support efforts. The IRC, working with local partner Kitab al Sunnah, has already distributed mattresses, blankets and kitchen sets to 1,800 newly arrived refugees in border communities, where most are temporarily settling. The IRC is also opening two primary health care centers in the border cities of Ramtha and Mafraq. The centers will not only dispense free medical care to refugees, but will provide psychosocial support to those suffering from emotional trauma. The IRC is also considering providing housing subsidies to those with the most need. “We’re finding more and more of the refugees are crossing with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” says IRC Deputy Regional Director Luan Meraku. “We’re taking a multi-pronged approach to address the immense challenges they face.”
Many of the estimated 30-thousand Syrian refugees in Jordan have no access to savings, and are forced to take out loans to pay for rent, food, and medical care.