Update on blankets for refugees

Wanted to share some good news with people.  The other day we wired funds to Turkey for some blankets.  We received a call today that the money was received and they will start to work on making the blankets they will be finished on the 25th Dec – 800 pieces of nice thick blankets.  Arrangements have been made for these to be picked up and they will be delivered to the people that need them.  We will get some pictures of the blankets once they are done and also when they get delivered.  We know that we will be helping to keep some families warm during these cold days ahead.

I also talked to my cousin, Faez and he says they have had no heat for 20 days and for the last three days no water. They have been living in the bedrooms of their house in Aleppo and have closed off all the other spaces to try and keep warm.  He says his mother is about 4 times her size with all the blankets and warm clothing she has on so she will not get sick- God forbid- since they would not know where to take her.  He told me that people are putting buckets outside to collect rain water to drink and use for their bathing etc., but it has to be cold since they are not able to heat it.  It is like continuous camping in the winter without having the essentials that you need.

I was told about a friend that lives in Hama that had to get out of the city for the sake of his children since they had lost their house and everything was getting worse there.  Since Hama and Homs are in the middle of the country it is harder for the residents to leave.  They do not have the border crossing like Aleppo or Iblib are close to Turkey and Damascus is close to Jordan or Lebanon etc.  The people in the middle of the country have to find other means to leave and that is walking since going via car and on the roads is very dangerous.  It took this man and his family 23 days

To get to relatives in Aleppo that they could stay with.  Can you image 23 days to get to a city that is 2 ½ hours by car.

If any doubt lingered that the crisis in Syria was grave and getting worse, the decision by the UN to launch its biggest aid appeal to date has doused it.

The UN, which estimates it will need $1.5bn to slow a “dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Syria, made the plea for aid in unusually strident terms.

The facts on the ground are stark and irrefutable. At least 1.5 million people, possibly as many as 2.2 million, are internally displaced and that figure is growing daily.

Over the past three days alone, an estimated 150,000 Palestinians have fled Syria’s largest refugee camp. Thousands of Palestinians in the 11 other camps are also reported to be considering leaving as violence steadily drives them from their refuges.

Collectively, the numbers of Syrians on the move dwarf any refugee crisis in recent memory. They are fleeing cities that have become ghettoized, initially through the rampant destruction of regime shelling and lately through an uncompromising two-way fight that is whittling away historical cities and starving their inhabitants.

Aleppo, and its surrounds, is now one of the hungriest places on Earth. Those who have fled have done so to survive – and not just because of the shelling. Many who remain in the rebel-held east of the city have the gaunt and haunted look of the undernourished, with plaintive eyes desperately seeking respite.

Parts of Aleppo, much of Homs and even sections of Damascus are now in worse shape than even Sarajevo or Grozny ever were. The UN is trying to raise $520m to cater for the needs of the 4 million people, almost a quarter of Syria’s total population, who it thinks may need help by next summer.

Another $1bn will be needed to meet the needs of about 1 million refugees who have fled to neighboring states. That figure is close to double the number of refugees registered in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt.

“Violence in Syria is raging across the country and there are nearly no more safe areas where people can flee and find safety,” Radhouane Nouicer, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Syria, has said.

Much work needs to be done to turn the sought-after dollars into meaningful aid deliveries. Hubs desperately need to be established near border points. Agreements to secure supply lines have to be urgently struck with opposition groups. Political risks need to be taken, not just by global leaders, but by the chiefs of the humanitarian groups themselves, who are good at recognizing need, but also adept at falling behind protocols that act as choke points.

Big decisions also need to be taken elsewhere as Syria sinks further towards catastrophe. Lebanon has limited capacity to take in fleeing Palestinians; Jordan does not seem to want them; and the journey to Turkey is too dangerous.

The stakes in Syrian are enormous and the UN recognition of the scale of the crisis is a historic moment. But failure to get the aid moving soon will mean the next landmark could be even worse.

We and other small aid groups are doing what we can in this island of human tragedy.  What we know is the goods that we are getting are going in and getting to the people.  The goods that we are buying in Turkey are being distributed to the small numbers of camps.  But we still need your help to be able to continue.  We can’t wait for the big governments to get everything together and we can’t wait for the NGO to figure out how to distribute the goods and the food supplies.  All people that I am working with have friends and family in Jordan or Turkey or Lebanon and they are finding ways of picking up the goods and getting them delivered to the people that need them.  They are not going to anyone’s certain family or village there are going where they need to go.  We have set up our own supply lines and we are moving things in vans and small cars and off the road transportation to get the goods to the people.

I am really making an urgent appeal during these holidays to please think of giving to the starving and cold kids in Syria.  Anything will help a blanket is $7.00 for something that is warm, gloves are 1.00 and the rubber boots at 3.00 for children.  Please click on the donate button and help these young people survive they have done nothing to deserve a life like this.  Think of the new babies being born in the camps without adequate health care and the mothers not able to breast feed since they have no food for themselves to have their bodies make the milk that they need.  Tell you kids about this and explain that maybe this year they could get one present and another could be for the children of Syria.

Thank you

Rita Zawaideh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.