AMMAN (October 17, 2019) – CARE warned today that humanitarian needs continue to rise in north-east Syria, as the conflict in the area deepens. Civilians are escaping the fighting and sheltering with relatives, in public spaces, or in overcrowded camps. While health service provision has been disrupted due to the violence in some areas, other health facilities are overwhelmed with emergency cases, as some 145 civilian casualties and over 40 deaths are reported by the United Nations.
“We are witnessing an already dire humanitarian situation deteriorate by the day. Most Syrians have already moved multiple times in this conflict, and are now looking for safety with only the clothing on their backs. The UN estimates currently suggest that up to 400,000 people could be displaced and require urgent humanitarian assistance and protection,” says Nirvana Shawky, CARE’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The escalation of fighting is disrupting life-saving humanitarian aid to vulnerable people, including more than 700,000 who were already internally displaced prior to the outbreak of fighting on October 9th.
The highly volatile security situation is impeding the delivery of vital humanitarian aid as supplies are cut off and aid workers are either evacuated or themselves displaced.
“More than half of civilians in northeast Syria were in need of humanitarian assistance before the latest fighting began. We must ensure that all measures are taken to facilitate full, safe and unfettered access to men, women and children in need,” adds Shawky.
With humanitarian needs on the rise, the aid response is already highly stretched. Aid agencies are facing another ongoing crisis in northwest Syria, with almost half a million people displaced since May. The international community must act urgently to avert a humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria.
About CARE’s response in Syria
CARE is assisting vulnerable and displaced people in northeast Syria by providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. CARE is carrying out much-needed distributions of hygiene kits and winter clothes and providing psychosocial support, including psychological first aid to those immediately affected by the violence. CARE plans to reach 20,000 people in northeast Syria with life-saving and emergency assistance by the end of October. CARE has been providing aid in Syria since 2014, and has reached more than 4.5 million people so far. Our work is focused on food security, livelihoods, women’s economic empowerment, shelter, water and sanitation, maternal and reproductive health support, and psychosocial support for people in crisis.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than seven decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. CARE works in more than 90 countries, reaching over 50 million people through over 950 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian aid programs.