The American Red Cross is committing an additional $1 million to support relief efforts for those affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria.
To date, 2.8 million Syrians are refugees and between 6.5 and 7.6 million are displaced internally, and the latest contribution increases the total American Red Cross commitment to aid in Syria and for Syrian refugees in surrounding countries to $2.3 million. Additionally, the American Red Cross has sent 3 disaster relief specialists to assist with relief programs since the beginning of the conflict.
The conflict raging in Syria has killed more than 162,000 people, including 41 Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers, and more than half a million have been wounded.
Virtually the entire population suffers from the direct consequences of the conflict in one way or another. In violence stricken areas, the breakdown of essential services, such as electricity, water, and medical services, and increasingly difficult access has added to the misery. Health conditions are worsening, with new reports of polio, measles, H1N1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreaks adding to an already dire situation.
Since the beginning of the conflict, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent - with the support of the Red Cross and Red Crescent network - has provided humanitarian aid to millions in the form of water, food, medical care, shelter, and psychological support.
Behind each of these growing numbers are people who have fled their homes, lost their livelihoods and been separated from family.
Hamid, aged 11, from Aleppo, is living in a refugee camp in Lebanon with his uncles.
“Before, I had friends and a normal life,” he said. “Everything was going fine. I could go out with my friends, go to the movies. But here you can’t do anything at all. My friends are gone. Some of them died. Some of them went to other countries.”
“I miss my parents the most out of everything,” said Hamid. “In the future, I want to build a family of my own and be comfortable. And I want to be Syrian – I want to go home.”