The Red Cross helps deliver aid to Madaya and other Syrian towns

Topics: Middle East and North Africa, Refugee Crisis
January 15, 2016

The Red Cross helps deliver aid to Madaya and other Syrian towns On January 11th,14th  and 18th,  the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations worked together to bring much needed aid to thousands of people in Syria who are in besieged areas.

Red Cross aid convoys are delivering life-saving food, water and healthcare to Syrian people in the beseiged areas of Madaya, Kafraya and Foua.

Madaya, in rural Damascus, has an estimated population of approximately 42,000, which includes around 17,600 people who have been internally displaced.  Foua and Kefraya are located near the city of Idleb, and have a population of around 20,000.

Syrians in these areas are living under siege and were in desperate need for aid, which had not been delivered since October 2015. The convoy was made up of more than 125 truck, carrying medical supplies, blankets, food parcels, baby milk and nutritional assistance for children, as well as other essential health care items.  Medical assistance was also provided by the ICRC.  Hundreds of Red Cross/Red Crescent staff and volunteers have been involved in ensuring the successful delivery of this assistance.

Now that it is winter, aid is more important then ever, and for people living in besieged areas the suffering is even more intense.

 In a recent oped in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Red Cross CEO Conrad Sauvé wrote, “The tragedy of Madaya is a stark reminder that half a million people are living in besieged or otherwise hard-to-reach areas in Syria. As humanitarian actors, our priority is to bring in assistance as soon as possible to Madaya, Zabadani, Foua and Kefraya, all of which are besieged, to avert the worsening of an already dire humanitarian situation.”

Marianne Gasser, the head of the ICRC delegation in Syria, talked about the importance of allowing access to these areas, calling the January 11 operation a “very positive development” but one that needs to continue in order to relieve suffering.

 The ICRC has called for the lifting of sieges across Syria.

Canadians can help the Red Cross continue to deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to Syrians like clean water, food parcels, medical assistance and winter clothing by donating to the Syrian Crisis Fund.