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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid