World Vision has launched an urgent distribution of blankets, tarps, rubber boots, socks and winter hats as millions of displaced Syrians battle heavy snow, torrential rain and heavy winds with the onset of winter.
World Vision Australia’s Head of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs, Anthea Spinks, said that World Vision and other aid agencies were striving to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people, but the sheer scale of the crisis means that the need remains immense.
“We are concerned about the dire consequences of winter on those living in temporary shelters,” said Ms Spinks. “So we are working to protect as many people as possible.”
More than 2.2 million people have now fled Syria to neighbouring countries to escape the violence whilst 6.5 million remain internally displaced in Syria, facing little protection from the cold.
World Vision is distributing blankets and vouchers to purchase stoves and fuel to 25,000 families in Lebanon where a blizzard has caused a heavy snowfall.
In Za’atari Camp in Jordan and in many of the makeshift settlements in Lebanon, flooding is already a significant problem, adding to the freezing temperatures. World Vision will be working to fix drainage problems in Za’atari Camp that caused severe flooding last winter.
World Vision is concerned about the impact of the below freezing temperatures on children. More than 30,000 children currently facing winter in sandals and shorts will be provided with coats in Jordan’s Za’atari Camp.
Ms Spinks said health workers in Syria are reporting an increase in respiratory diseases especially among children as temperatures dip.
“As summer festive season is approaching, we hope Australians will remember the millions of displaced Syrians facing a very different end to the year and continue to support our efforts to help those in need.”
To donate to the Syrian Refugees Crisis Response call 13 32 40 or go to www.worldvision.com.au
ENDS Anthea Spinks is available for interview.
Media contact: Gabrielle Brophy on 0407 575 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org