As civil war carries on in Syria and the dynamic security situation continues to deteriorate in the surrounding region, ShelterBox has partnered with Hand in Hand for Syria (HIHS) to get vital humanitarian aid to people internally displaced inside Syria.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), some 6.8 million people have been forced from their homes in the war-torn country having been exposed to violence and unremitting fighting. Many now remain within the borders with no home to go to and no possessions.
It’s extremely difficult for most humanitarian organisations to carry out their work and help people in Syria due to its dangerous environment. However ShelterBox teamed up with HIHS, one of the few charities that has a presence within Syria, to deliver essential aid to Syrians desperately in need.
‘HIHS operates through a distribution network of local aid workers to reach communities across Syria,’ said Faddy Sahloul, Chairman and Founder of HIHS in the UK.
‘In practice this means when we receive aid into our warehouses in Syria, we pack it down accordingly to our assessments on which areas are in need, and liaise with the various teams around the country to come and collect and then distribute it.
‘Obviously this is a very simplified description, in practice the security situation makes it extremely complex because so many different variables need to be taken into consideration such as planning routes to avoid active conflict zones, doing the distribution discretely so as not to draw attention to the aid, and making sure the civilian shelters remain unidentifiable so that they do not become potential targets.’
The ShelterBox aid, which includes water carriers and filters, insect nets, solar lamps, kitchen sets and children’s activity packs, is now in HIHS’s warehouse in Syria and distributions should begin this week.
‘It’s taken a lot of research to find this very rare route to get aid into Syria itself,’ added Sam Hewett, ShelterBox Operations Coordinator. ‘With how hard it is for charities to access humanitarian space there and move around, I believe ShelterBox is one of the few that is helping Syrian families by bringing them non-food items, fundamental to their comfort and survival.’
Meanwhile ShelterBoxes continue to be distributed by a network of implementing partners in Lebanon to Syrian refugees. Please continue to help us help others around the world by donating today.