• Text size Normal size text | Increase text size by 10% | Increase text size by 20% | Increase text size by 30%

UNHCR airlift delivering relief for 50,000 IDPs in northeast Syria

Making a Difference, 10 July 2014

© UNHCR/N.Khalil
UNHCR is sending 11 plane loads of aid to help 50,000 of the Syrian IDPs isolated in northeastern Syria.

DAMASCUS, Syria, 10 July (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency has launched a series of daily flights from Damascus to the northeast of Syria to bring emergency aid to 50,000 Syrians displaced by the fighting inside their country.

The 11 round-trip flights by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees began on Wednesday, with the chartered Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane leaving Damascus in the morning with supplies for internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in Hassakeh Governorate and returning from Qamishly in the afternoon to reload for the next day's flight.

The 440 tonnes of supplies taking up 2,000 cubic meters of space include 50,000 fleece blankets, 10,000 plastic sheets, 30,000 sleeping mats, 10,000 jerry cans, 10,000 kitchen sets, 10,000 hygiene kits, 20,000 sanitary napkins, and 32,000 baby and adult diapers.

This operation follows three previous airlifts by UNHCR to Hassakeh Governorate between mid-2013 and February 2014, as well as land transport through the Nussaybin/Qamishly border crossing from Turkey. Those operations delivered humanitarian assistance to 150,000 IDPs in the Governorate plus vaccines for more than 500,000 children.

"To date, and since the beginning of 2014, we have delivered core relief items to more than 2.5 million IDPs in need in 13 out of the 14 Governorates of Syria, including hard-to-reach areas," said Tarik Kurdi, UNHCR's Representative in Syria.

"With the recent opening of our office in Sweida, we continue to expand our presence on the ground to get closer to our persons of concern, while striving to secure donor funds to ensure the smooth and continuous flow of humanitarian assistance by both sea and land from Lattakia and Jordan respectively," he said.

The UN refugee agency currently has nearly 425 staff in Syria working out of seven offices in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Hassakeh, Qamishly, Homs, Tartous, and Sweida. Persons of concern to UNHCR in Syria include 6.5 million IDPs and around 34,000 refugees from other countries.

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

UNHCR country pages

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

As world concern grows over the plight of hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians, including more than 200,000 refugees, UNHCR staff are working around the clock to provide vital assistance in neighbouring countries. At the political level, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres was due on Thursday (August 30) to address a closed UN Security Council session on Syria.

Large numbers have crossed into Lebanon to escape the violence in Syria. By the end of August, more than 53,000 Syrians across Lebanon had registered or received appointments to be registered. UNHCR's operations for Syrian refugees in Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley resumed on August 28 after being briefly suspended due to insecurity.

Many of the refugees are staying with host families in some of the poorest areas of Lebanon or in public buildings, including schools. This is a concern as the school year starts soon. UNHCR is urgently looking for alternative shelter. The majority of the people looking for safety in Lebanon are from Homs, Aleppo and Daraa and more than half are aged under 18. As the conflict in Syria continues, the situation of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon remains precarious.

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Turkish Camps Provide Shelter to 90,000 Syrian Refugees

By mid-September, more than 200,000 Syrian refugees had crossed the border into Turkey. UNHCR estimates that half of them are children, and many have seen their homes destroyed in the conflict before fleeing to the border and safety.

The Turkish authorities have responded by building well-organized refugee camps along southern Turkey's border with Syria. These have assisted 120,000 refugees since the crisis conflict erupted in Syria. There are currently 12 camps hosting 90,000 refugees, while four more are under construction. The government has spent approximately US$300 million to date, and it continues to manage the camps and provide food and medical services.

The UN refugee agency has provided the Turkish government with tents, blankets and kitchen sets for distribution to the refugees. UNHCR also provides advice and guidelines, while staff from the organization monitor voluntary repatriation of refugees.

Most of the refugees crossing into Turkey come from areas of northern Syria, including the city of Aleppo. Some initially stayed in schools or other public buildings, but they have since been moved into the camps, where families live in tents or container homes and all basic services are available.

Turkish Camps Provide Shelter to 90,000 Syrian Refugees

Displaced inside Syria: UNHCR and its Dedicated Staff help the Needy

The violence inside Syria continues to drive people from their homes, with some seeking shelter elsewhere in their country and others risking the crossing into neighbouring countries. The United Nations estimates that up to 4 million people are in need of help, including some 2 million believed to be internally displaced.

The UN refugee agency has 350 staff working inside Syria. Despite the insecurity, they continue to distribute vital assistance in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Al Hassakeh and Homs. Thanks to their work and dedication, more than 350,000 people have received non-food items such as blankets, kitchen sets and mattresses. These are essential items for people who often flee their homes with no more than the clothes on their backs. Cash assistance has been given to more than 10,600 vulnerable Syrian families.

Displaced inside Syria: UNHCR and its Dedicated Staff help the Needy

Refugees Continue Flowing into TurkeyPlay video

Refugees Continue Flowing into Turkey

Turkey has opened borders point for Syrian Kurdish civilians fleeing clashes between ISIS militants and Kurdish forces. More than 138,000 have crossed over since Friday and more are expected.
UNHCR: Syrian Refugee numbers top three millionPlay video

UNHCR: Syrian Refugee numbers top three million

The number of refugees in Syria's intensifying crisis passes 3 million people, amid reports of horrifying conditions inside the country. Iman and her family were displaced four times inside Syria before finally seeking refuge in Lebanon.
The Fight for Survival – Syrian Women AlonePlay video

The Fight for Survival – Syrian Women Alone

Lina has not heard from her husband since he was detained in Syria two years ago. Now a refugee in Lebanon, she lives in a tented settlement with her seven children.