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

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.