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CARE increases aid distribution to Syrians fleeing the fighting in Idlib

Syrian crisis
Syrian crisis

AMMAN (January 17, 2018) — CARE has started increasing aid distribution to Syrian civilians who have been displaced by ongoing fighting in the Northern governorate of Idlib, where living conditions are deteriorating daily as temperatures plummet, and aims to reach 25,000 people with emergency help.

More than 100,000 civilians, most of whom have been repeatedly displaced by conflict, have fled Southern Idlib and Northern Hama, and headed towards safer areas since the beginning of January. These numbers are expected to increase and even double as fighting and airstrikes continue. CARE was already distributing aid to civilians in Idlib, through local partners.

“Conditions have worsened dramatically since the beginning of January. Families who were forced to flee their homes — sometimes with nothing but their clothes on their back — are living in temporary shelters and open spaces in freezing conditions with no access to clean water, food, or heating,” said Wouter Schaap, CARE’s Syria country director. “We are deeply concerned that the health and sanitary situation will soon reach a critical point. We have already started scaling up our humanitarian response with our partners in the area. Registration of civilians and distribution of aid are underway, and we aim to reach 25,000 people once the distribution is completed.”

One of the most acute needs is decent shelter, as families are living out in the open, some of them sleeping, for example, in the trucks that they used to flee and onto which they had packed a few personal belongings, like mattresses or stoves.

CARE will be distributing blankets and mattresses, ready to eat food rations, diapers and other hygiene material, as well as cash to allow civilians to buy what they need.

“We fled our house at 3 a.m. Now, I’m sitting in my car, without anything; no tent nor shelter. It’s a big tragedy. I had invested all I have in my house and now it’s gone,” a middle-aged man told a CARE partner, while helping two women put up a tent in an informal camp.

Nearby, a woman handwashed clothing in a bucket placed on the red muddy soil, while another burned pieces of wood to cook soup on a small stove. All around the camp, children play in puddles, while laundry hangs to dry in between tents.

CARE calls on all parties to the conflict to stop targeting civilians, and allow humanitarian aid to reach them urgently.

Notes to editors:

CARE has been providing aid in Syria since 2014, and has reached more than 2.7 million people so far. Our work is focused on food security, livelihoods, shelter, water and sanitation, and psychosocial support for people in crisis.

About CARE:
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. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries to reach 80 million people, including more than 11 million through emergency response and humanitarian aid. Learn more at www.care.org

For interviews, please contact: Nicole Harris, nharris@care.org, 404-735-0871.

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