UNHCR's largest shipment of supplies for Syrian IDPs leaves Dubai

News Stories, 15 August 2013

© UNHCR
UNHCR staff load the relief items for Syrian IDPs from the organization's Dubai global stockpile.

AMMAN, Jordan, Aug 15 (UNHCR) The first of 33 trucks from the UN refugee agency left on Thursday with the largest shipment of emergency relief items for people uprooted inside Syria that UNHCR has dispatched so far this year from its Dubai stockpile.

The convoy will travel by road across the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to UNHCR's forward warehouse in Jordan, from where the goods will be sent into Syria for internally displaced people (IDPs).

"UNHCR is working inside Syria and in neighbouring countries to help people uprooted by the war," said Amin Awad, UNHCR's Director of its Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa and Regional Refugee Coordinator.

"This shipment of relief items will ensure thousands of vulnerable Syrian families have the necessary aid they require amidst the horrific conflict," Awad said.

Among items leaving Dubai were blankets for 100,000 people, more than 27,000 kitchen sets for some 139,000 people and 50,000 jerry cans that will help more than 125,000 people.

Over 2013, UNHCR has distributed urgently needed relief items to more than 1.6 million people inside Syria, many displaced by the conflict that is now in its third year. To-date, UNHCR field teams have distributed more than 3.6 million relief items inside Syria, including within besieged areas.

"In the last week UNHCR and its partners sent a convoy of nine trucks into the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib with UNHCR relief items for 10,000 people living in the city that is still the scene of active fighting," said Tarik Kurdi, UNHCR Representative in Syria.

In Damascus, UNHCR is currently completing its second distribution of cash assistance to internally displaced Syrians. So far this year, more than 36,000 people from nearly 7,000 families have been assisted in Damascus with aid in Syrian pounds totaling more than US$984,000.

Most IDPs in Damascus who qualify for the UNHCR cash assistance program fled from Adra, a city northeast of the Syrian capital. Throughout Syria, UNHCR cash assistance has reached more than 65,000 people from more than 12,400 families in 2013.

"UNHCR has established vulnerability criteria and carefully screens internally displaced persons to ensure they qualify for the cash aid programme," Kurdi said in Damascus. "Many of the displaced persons we are assisting are persons with disabilities or serious medical conditions."

UNHCR's 33 truck shipment from Dubai starting on Thursday is part of the UN refugee agency's efforts to help many of Syria's more than 4.25 million IDPs to prepare for the upcoming winter. Overall, relief agencies estimate there are more than 6.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria.

UNHCR also oversees aid to more than 1.9 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, including more than 684,000 in Lebanon, 516,000 in Jordan, some 434,000 in Turkey, 154,000 in Iraq and 107,000 in Egypt.

However, UNHCR's regional programme to help Syrian refugees and vulnerable people caught inside the war-torn country is so far only 38 percent funded.

Dubai's International Humanitarian City, an initiative of the government of Dubai and Her Royal Highness Princess Haya, is UNHCR's main global hub for aid items with stocks of blankets, tents, kitchen sets and other items for more than 350,000 people.

By Peter Kessler in Amman

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

UNHCR country pages

Internally Displaced People

The internally displaced seek safety in other parts of their country, where they need help.

Related Internet Links

UNHCR is not responsible for the content and availability of external internet sites

Displaced in North Kivu: A Life on the Run

Fighting rages on in various parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with seemingly no end in sight for hundreds of thousands of Congolese forced to flee violence and instability over the past two years. The ebb and flow of conflict has left many people constantly on the move, while many families have been separated. At least 1 million people are displaced in North Kivu, the hardest hit province. After years of conflict, more than 1,000 people still die every day - mostly of hunger and treatable diseases. In some areas, two out of three women have been raped. Abductions persist and children are forcefully recruited to fight. Outbreaks of cholera and other diseases have increased as the situation deteriorates and humanitarian agencies struggle to respond to the needs of the displaced.

When the displacement crisis worsened in North Kivu in 2007, the UN refugee agency sent emergency teams to the area and set up operations in several camps for internally displaced people (IDPs). Assistance efforts have also included registering displaced people and distributing non-food aid. UNHCR carries out protection monitoring to identify human rights abuses and other problems faced by IDPs in North and South Kivu.

Displaced in North Kivu: A Life on the Run

Displaced by Fresh Fighting in North Kivu

Waves of fighting in eastern Democratic of the Republic since late April have displaced tens of thousands of people. Many have become internally displaced within the province, while others have fled to south-west Uganda's Kisoro district or to Rwanda via the Goma-Gisenyi crossing.

The stop-start clashes between government forces and renegade soldiers loyal to former rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda began in the province's Masisi and Walikale territories, but subsequently shifted to Rutshuru territory, which borders Uganda.

Between May 10-20, one of UNHCR's local NGO partners registered more than 40,000 internally displaced people (IDP) in Jomba and Bwesa sectors.

The IDPs are living in difficult conditions, staying in school buildings and churches or with host families. They lack food and shelter and have limited access to health facilities. Some of the displaced have reported cases of extortion, forced labour, beatings and recruitment of minors to fight.

UNHCR and other major aid organizations plan to distribute food, medicine and other aid. More than 300,000 people have been forcibly displaced in North and South Kivu since the start of the year, according to UN figures.

Displaced by Fresh Fighting in North Kivu

Displaced inside Syria: UNHCR and its Dedicated Staff help the Needy

The violence inside Syria continues to drive people from their homes, with some seeking shelter elsewhere in their country and others risking the crossing into neighbouring countries. The United Nations estimates that up to 4 million people are in need of help, including some 2 million believed to be internally displaced.

The UN refugee agency has 350 staff working inside Syria. Despite the insecurity, they continue to distribute vital assistance in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Al Hassakeh and Homs. Thanks to their work and dedication, more than 350,000 people have received non-food items such as blankets, kitchen sets and mattresses. These are essential items for people who often flee their homes with no more than the clothes on their backs. Cash assistance has been given to more than 10,600 vulnerable Syrian families.

Displaced inside Syria: UNHCR and its Dedicated Staff help the Needy

Iraq: Massive UNHCR Aid OperationPlay video

Iraq: Massive UNHCR Aid Operation

The UN refugee agency is conducting a massive aid operation to assist some 500,000 Iraqis displaced by conflict in northern Iraq. It includes airlifts, and transport of aid by road and sea.
UNHCR: Syrian Refugee numbers top three millionPlay video

UNHCR: Syrian Refugee numbers top three million

The number of refugees in Syria's intensifying crisis passes 3 million people, amid reports of horrifying conditions inside the country. Iman and her family were displaced four times inside Syria before finally seeking refuge in Lebanon.
UNHCR: Syrian Refugee numbers top three millionPlay video

UNHCR: Syrian Refugee numbers top three million

The number of refugees in Syria's intensifying crisis passes 3 million people, amid reports of horrifying conditions inside the country. Iman and her family were displaced four times inside Syria before finally seeking refuge in Lebanon.