News / Middle East

    International Red Cross Launches Syria Appeal

    Newly-arrived Syrian refugee families rest after having crossed the border from Tal Shehab in Syria, through the Al Yarmouk River valley, to near Ramtha, Jordan, Sept. 15, 2012.
    Newly-arrived Syrian refugee families rest after having crossed the border from Tal Shehab in Syria, through the Al Yarmouk River valley, to near Ramtha, Jordan, Sept. 15, 2012.
    Lisa Schlein
    International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is launching an emergency appeal for tens of thousands of Syrians who have sought refuge in neighboring Turkey and along the Syrian border. The appeal for $34 million will support the Turkish Red Crescent in providing winter assistance for up to 170,000 people.

    The emergency appeal will provide the Turkish Red Crescent with the money it needs to help 100,000 Syrian refugees living in 14 tented camps get through the harsh winter.  

    The head of the International Red Cross Federation's Disaster and Crisis Management, Simon Eccleshall, said the appeal also aims to help some 20,000 people currently gathered at the Turkish-Syrian border.

    "The appeal duration is six months and we will look as the situation evolves as to whether we need to revise and upscale our efforts in response to the deteriorating humanitarian crisis," he said. "We have seen a doubling of the camp population since July 2012 and, I think, as you have seen over the last few days, there has been an increase in the number of Syrians moving into Turkey."  

    The United Nations refugee agency reports there are more than 400,000 registered refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.  It says hundreds of thousands of other Syrian civilians are living with host families and have not registered as refugees.

    Due to the increased fighting inside Syria, the agency expects the number of Syrian refugees to increase in the coming months. It says up to 700,000 Syrian refugees could need assistance outside their homeland by early next year.

    In a 24-hour period last week, the UNHCR reported more than 11,000 Syrians fled to neighboring countries.  About 9,000 went to Turkey and the rest to Jordan and Lebanon.

    The Turkish government is absorbing most of the cost of assisting the refugees. The Turkish Red Crescent, an auxiliary to the government, has been providing essential food and non-food relief items to the Syrian refugees.

    Eccleshall said the Red Crescent is a crucial link for international aid.

    "They are the only organization that the Turkish government allows to work at the border point and recognizing this population in transition, moving across the border…to bring assistance to those people has been, if you like, the motivation for the Turkish Red Crescent to provide, what is essentially quite small kinds of assistance to people who are currently extremely vulnerable and congregating in makeshift shelters on the Syrian side of the border," he explained.  

    Eccleshall added that aid will include cooking stoves, heaters, blankets and other winter items as well as essential food, hygiene kits and other items.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora