Category: Appeals

Photo gallery: Syrian refugees flood into Iraq

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The UN today announced that the number of Syrian refugees has now topped two million. One of the places that has seen a huge rise in the number of people fleeing the violence in Syria is the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Thousands have begun to arrive in major cities including the capital of Kurdistan, Erbil and in Sulaymaniyah. The rise in numbers is caused by the reopening of the Peshkhabur border. In response to the sudden influx, temporary camps are being built.

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Syria infographic: the crisis and how we’re helping

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Today’s news that one million Syrian children are now refugees serves as a stark reminder of the constantly growing humanitarian needs in the region.

This infographic highlights people’s needs, how we’re helping, and why we still need your donations:

Syria infographic

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Photo gallery: teaching first aid to children in Syria conflict

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Syrian boy listens during first aid training session in Aleppo

©SARC/ Hagop Vanesian

Here at the Red Cross, we see first aid as an essential skill that all children should learn. So much so that we’ve been campaigning to have it put on England’s national curriculum.

Of course, it goes without saying that when you teach children first aid you hope they’ll never need to use it. Nobody wants children to witness a nasty injury or to be hurt themselves. More

International volunteer: helping people in Syria and the UK

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Majd Kilani

©Majd Kilani

This is guest blog from Majd Kilani, 27, a former Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer who now lives in the UK and volunteers for the British Red Cross’ refugee project in Hammersmith.

I remember Hakam Sibai, one of the first Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers who was killed – he was only 22 years old and a first aider. The ambulance he was out in was struck by 31 bullets .

Just under a month later, the ambulance was being used again to take a pregnant woman and her husband to hospital. The husband asked: “Why are there holes in the ambulance?” When the husband heard the story, he named his son ‘Hakam’ after the volunteer who had been shot. More

Cash grants: a lifeline for refugees while they wait for Syria news

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Beneficiary Rania, 31, with her family

©BRC/ Eleanor Matthews

This is a guest blog by Eleanor Matthews, British Red Cross disaster response support officer for the Syria crisis.

We are setting off for Ajloun, a town in the north of Jordan. People there mostly work as farmers and are a mixture of Christian and Muslim faiths. The local population is usually about 30,000, but has swelled over the last two years with the arrival of Syrian refugees.

Today, the Jordanian Red Crescent – together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – will give Syrian refugee families bank cards to access its cash grant programme for three months.

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Fatima’s story: we escaped Syria at night

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Fatima with her child

©BRC/Ellie Matthews

Fatima*, 25, fled Dera’a with her four young children after their house was destroyed by bombing. They spent two days trying to cross the border, but were shot at. Eventually, after waiting a week, they escaped Syria during the night.

The family – Fatima, her son and her three daughters – have now been in Ajloun, Jordan, for five months. Fatima’s husband used to earn a living driving between Syria and Jordan, which has now become impossible. Along with Fatima’s parents, he has stayed behind in Syria.

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Merlijn in Syria (day five): delivering aid across frontlines

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A convoy in Aleppo

©SARC – Aleppo

Merlijn Stoffels, who works for the Netherlands Red Cross, visited Syria last month. He wrote a day-by-day account of his experiences in the country, which I’ve been sharing with you all this week.

Before we leave Syria, we visit our colleagues at the International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC was established 150 years ago to operate in warzones and its aid workers are trained to work in this type of situation.

As we approach, we notice a column of Red Cross vehicles in front of the door, emblazoned with logos and flags. The aid workers are busy loading the last supplies. Today, they are visiting Zakyah and Der Ghabia, where fierce fighting has been raging for the past few days. More