Reference : V-P-CH-E-00835
Date : 08/05/2012
Caption : Geneva, ICRC headquarters. Press conference on the ICRC appeals for funds to step up its response in Syria.
Photographer : GASSMANN, Thierry
Person appearing :
KELLENBERGER, Jakob (president, ICRC)
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, News release 12/98, 08-05-2012

Syria: ICRC appeals for funds to step up its response

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is appealing to its donors for 24.5 million Swiss francs (approximately 27 million US dollars, or 20 million euros) to support assistance efforts it will carry out until the end of 2012 for people affected by the fighting in Syria.

Tens of thousands of men, women and children are still displaced," said Jakob Kellenberger, the president of the ICRC. "Some are hosted by resident communities, while others have found refuge in public buildings. We are striving to bring them the help they urgently need by stepping up our emergency humanitarian response.''

While calm has returned intermittently to some parts of Syria, in other areas there has been no let-up in the unrest. "Many people are still struggling just to make it through the day," said Mr Kellenberger. "Others are trying to rebuild their lives from scratch."

"Our priority is to improve living conditions and to restore public services for up to 1.5 million people affected by the fighting. We will provide monthly food parcels for around 100,000 particularly vulnerable people and household essentials for up to 25,000 people."

"Unrestricted access to stricken areas is key to the upcoming expansion of our operations," added the ICRC president. "Over the past two months, the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been able to reach people in Idlib, Homs, Hama, Dera'a, Aleppo and Rural Damascus. It is encouraging that our dialogue with both the authorities and the opposition is paying off – in particular, we managed to secure a 'humanitarian pause' in the violence for the first time almost two weeks ago in Douma, near Damascus, for two consecutive days."

''The ICRC will also continue to assist Syrians who have fled to neighbouring countries," said Mr Kellenberger. "In Lebanon, the Lebanese Red Cross and the ICRC will expand the emergency medical services they are providing for refugees in the country.'' The ICRC will also maintain a stock of relief items for distribution to up to 9,000 people in the event of a sudden influx of refugees. In Jordan, the ICRC will continue to make relief items available to the Jordan National Red Crescent Society for refugees crossing the border.

Since July 2011, the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have distributed enough food and other essential items to cover the needs of about 350,000 people inside the country. Since the onset of the violence, Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have been providing emergency health-care and first-aid services for the wounded and the sick. Their efforts have saved many lives, but two volunteers and the secretary-general of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent also lost their lives in the line of duty.

The ICRC's main partner in Syria remains the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

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