International Rescue Committee (IRC)

IRC mobilizes aid for refugees fleeing deepening crisis in Syria

Sawssan Abdelwahab, who fled Idlib in Syria, walks with her children outside a refugee camp near the Turkish-Syrian border. (Photo: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra, courtesy Trust.org - AlertNet)

As the fighting in Syria intensifies, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is mobilizing emergency assistance for refugees who have fled the year-long conflict, which has killed more than 7,500 people.  

At least 30,000 desperate civilians have crossed Syria’s heavily mined borders to escape the growing violence, seeking asylum in neighboring Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. 
 
Meanwhile, food, fuel and medical supplies are running out in Syrian towns and cities that have suffered heavy bombardment from the Syrian military–as President Bashar al-Assad continues to block aid from reaching people in need.  
 
 
IRC teams are currently in Jordan to assess humanitarian needs and prepare to provide emergency medical care, shelter and other aid to refugees who are camped out on the Syrian border in frigid winter temperatures. These teams will be joined by IRC experts on women’s protection who will offer assistance to women survivors of sexual violence and abuse. IRC staff may also be deployed to Lebanon in the coming weeks. 
 
 “As the numbers of refugees and other displaced people grow day by day, the levels of humanitarian need increase exponentially,” said Mike Young, IRC regional director for Asia, Caucasus and the Middle East.
 
The IRC calls upon the combatants in Syria to observe a daily ceasefire so that relief can reach the hardest-hit communities. The IRC also asks that borders remain open so that refugees can flee to safety, and that Syria’s neighbors grant humanitarian organizations access to provide relief.
 
Updated 03/13/12
 

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