Red Cross responds to Syrian refugee crisis

Topics: Middle East and North Africa, Refugee Crisis
September 03, 2015

The Samir family left Syria and endured a long journey to the border of FYR Macedonia. In recent weeks and months, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking refuge in Europe and elsewhere after fleeing their homeland to escape violence and unrest in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Libya. Millions of people have been displaced since the Syrian crisis began, more than five years ago.

Many refugees and migrants are in need of support in their journey and the Red Cross has been responding in countries such as Greece, Serbia, Italy and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Red Cross volunteers are providing refugees and migrants with essential relief items such as food and water, as well as first aid.

Together with other Red Cross Movement partners, the Canadian Red Cross actively supports Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Syria, Iraq, Libya and throughout the region who are providing food, household items and life-saving health services to internally displaced persons. 
The Samir family has just crossed the border from Greece into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, after travelling for 20 days through Turkey and Greece from their home in Daraa, southern Syria.

They are covered in dust and they are tired. But when asked how they are, the father of the children, Abukushlif Samir (24), and his mother, Fendiye Seyid (47), break into huge smiles. “It is a little bit better here than the rest of the States. This is the first time we have seen the Red Cross and a Red Cross doctor. The baby has a cold and a sore throat. And she gave the other girl medicine for fever and diarrhea,” Samir says.

The family is being cared for by volunteers from the Red Cross of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for the short time they are in the country waiting to catch a train north to the border with Serbia. They are given food, water, and hygiene kits, which include tooth brushes, shampoos, toilet paper, soap, sanitary pads, razors, washing detergent and towels.

Samir’s wife is still in Syria, too unwell to travel after a difficult childbirth, but he hopes to be reunited with her when he gets to Sweden.

Meanwhile in Italy, thousands of people arriving by boat are saved and brought to the southern ports of Italy week after week. The Italian Red Cross continues to work tirelessly in the main ports of southern Italy to provide to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees, which has only increased over the warm summer months.
Photo: Red Cross of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia