Cordaid has started a 2 months emergency response for displaced households from Eastern Ghouta, east of Damascus. We provide basic food and non-food items, helping people to survive and to avoid negative coping strategies such as early marriage, exploitation and child labour.
Together with Caritas Syria, our implementing partner, we provide emergency food and basic materials such as blankets, mattresses and kitchen items. This way, people do not need to sleep on the ground, are protected from the cold and can practice basic hygiene. We do this for 250 vulnerable IDP households who recently fled the conflict in Eastern Ghouta and who are now the Damascus area.
During their flight and or evacuation, many people were unable to take their belongings. Consequently, people are lacking basic items to survive, to protect themselves or to cook. Furthermore, many of them lack food. And as a result of many years or war – including a chemical attack in 2013 – people have already depleted their reserves.
Most urgent needs
According UNHCR, people’s most urgent needs are mattresses, blankets, high thermal blankets, plastic sheets, winter clothes kits, solar lamps, jerry cans, and kitchen sets. At several collective shelters, people living in the open in schoolyards are desperate and using UNHCR’s blankets as partitions to create some privacy. And to protect themselves and their families from the sun in daytime, and from the cold at night. UN agencies are anticipating another influx of more than 200,000 people.
Last month the Government of Syria launched a new military campaign in the Eastern Ghouta area, displacing more than 50,000 people, 70% of them are women and children. According to UN OCHA, nearly 1,600 have been killed since February 2018 in the Eastern Ghouta region alone. Thousands of people have been injured. Currently there are more than 7 official shelters for people from Eastern Ghouta. However, most of the shelters do not have capacity or infrastructure to accommodate the large number of people arriving. People are staying out in the open, there are insufficient wash facilities and overall hygiene standards are low.
The Eastern Ghouta response is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and part of the Dutch Relief Alliance Syria Joint Response.
Featured picture: the village of Arbine, Eastern Ghouta, February 27 2018. Source: Qasioun News Agency, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons.