Through funding from the UN and EU - in total about one Million $ - the Danish Refugee Council is now able to expand relief efforts in Syria in four areas of Damascus and the Dera'a province. The effort focuses on providing relief aid and shelter to some of Syria’s more than one million displaced.
The Danish Refugee Council has a long history in the region and has been working in Syria since 2007 to assist the many Iraqi refugees in the country. Cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) has made it possible to assist in the current humanitarian crisis, and with the new donor funding that effort is now being extended.
"We assist Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, but it is very essential that our cooperation with SARC has made us able to provide humanitarian assistance to the many civilians now displaced inside Syria because of the ongoing conflict - one of the main challenges is to provide relief aid and shelter to the many displaced persons, and with the new donor funds, we can extend our efforts to meet this challenge, "says head of the Danish Refugee Council’s International Department Ann Mary Olsen.
The Danish Refugee Council will assist in the rehabilitation of school buildings to receive the displaced, while also continuing the distribution of relief aid reaching 50,000 people.
"We have distributed relief in the form of hygiene kits, which are vital for the displaced families, and now we are preparing the distribution of other non-food items such as blankets, mattresses and kitchen utensils. We are also going to assist in the rehabilitation of local schools so they can receive more displaced people - so far, 12,000 people sought refuge in schools in Damascus alone.
The Danish Refugee Council is working in four areas of Damascus as well as the Dera'a province and also has operations in Homs, where the efforts has been focused on assistance to Iraqi refugees constituting a vulnerable group in the current situation. "It is extremely difficult to work in Syria during the current crisis. We have been forced to put our operations in Homs on stand-by, but we are ready to work as soon as possible. We have years of experience in working in countries and regions affected by armed conflict, and we do everything we can to assist "says Ann Mary Olsen.
The Danish Refugee Council's partners and donors in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan include Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), UNHCR, UNICEF, the UN humanitarian fund ERF, EU's humanitarian office (ECHO) and DANIDA.