Wed 14 Nov 2018

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“Idlib’s Grand Campaign” Unifies Efforts to Aid Internally Displaced People

Car carrying furniture and household items of the people displaced from the eastern countryside of Idlib - January 2018 (Enab Baladi)

Car carrying furniture and household items of the people displaced from the eastern countryside of Idlib - January 2018 (Enab Baladi)

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Organizations in northern Syria have unified their relief efforts within a frame of cooperative actions under “Idlib’s Grand Campaign,” which target the people who have been internally displaced due to the battles in the eastern countryside of Hama and the southern eastern countryside in Idlib governorate, to supply them with basic needs.

The campaign started on 14 December, with the mutual efforts of seven organizations (Rakeen, Syrian Civil Defense, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation(IHH), Molham Volunteering Team, Violet, Ghitaa Alrahmah Volunteering Team, Ishraqat Foundation- Syrian Woman Forum).

The first phase covered the internally displaced people in the city of Saraqib and its countryside and the city of Jisr al-Shughur and its countryside to expand in the future to cover the largest number of people in need.

According to Atef Na’nu, the Campaign’s media official and a member of Molham Volunteering Team, told Enab Baladi that the campaign started “to coordinate efforts, for each of these organizations used to work separately,”  telling Enab Baladi that the campaign “was organized to prevent inconsistent distribution and to reach the largest number of displaced people”.

Launching the campaign has two goals, which Na’nu explained. He said that the first is relief based, to distribute the supplies and necessities urgent for refugees, whose number went beyond 324 thousand, more than the half of whom are children. The second goal is media related “to attract attention and shed the light on the displaced people’s situation in the area via advocacy campaigns and to raise donations through the internet or directly through the participant organizations”.

The campaigns media official, said that the first phase will continue via the cooperation of the seven organizations, to include all the organizations that filled a membership application, pointing out that “any organization can participate after filling applications that will be studied by the campaign’s officials”.

 

Humanitarian Initiative

In an interview with Enab Baladi, Yahya Nima, media representative in “Violet” Organization, said that the campaign is a humanitarian initiative that aims to coordinate relief work, considering that the campaign is distinct  due to “its openness to all organizations and that it always welcomes the efforts of any organization functioning on the ground and wishing to support displaced people”.

According to the Director of Food Security in the Organization, Abdul Razzaq Awad, the campaign enhances the collective actions of the volunteers who belong to all participant entities, pointing out that “it contributes to the renunciation of individual actio”.

Usually campaigns target specific areas and ignore others, according to Awad, who assured that “cooperative work might bridge the gap which massive displacement has created”.

Ishraqat Foundation, based in Istanbul, cooperates with a team inside Syria, according to the foundation’s Director Maysaa Saeed, who explained that “the foundation has provided three thousand blankets and four thousand woolen cloth pieces made by Syrian women in the  Karkemish camp in Gaziantep”.

 

In her interview with Enab Baladi, Saeed appealed to the supporting organizations that have “not yet moved”, asking them to participate “in order to properly distribute what they provide under the campaign that is supposed to be undertaken by the United Nations or large supporters”.

The United Nations has warned against the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of about 1.73 million Syrians in the north-west of Syria and categorized them as in urgent need for immediate humanitarian aid, without taking any action to stop the displacement influx or support the already displaced people.

UNs’ statistics estimate that about 2.5 million persons, among whom 1.1 million were displaced due to battles, live in Idlib.

Upon interviewing a number of the displaced people in the eastern countryside of Hama governorate, Mostafa El Nansan told Enab Baladi that families are suffering from the lack of food materials, baby’s milk, flour and water, demanding a solution, calling to contain displaced people and provide more tents.

Abdel Fattah Abbas appealed to the active organizations and commissions to overcome the shortage, speaking of the tragic situation of hundreds of thousands of displaced people, “we have been displaced only with the clothes that we have been wearing; we had not a chance to take anything else with us”.

Ghalia (Um Mohammed), who have been displaced to the camps in Idlib, said that most of the people in “al-Karama” Camp are suffering from shortage in food materials, pointing out to the lacking heating means, gas and kerosene, in the shadow of the biting cold.

According to the campaign’s management, the number of the people to be covered by the campaign cannot be estimated; however, it will continue especially with the increasing numbers of the displaced people. The organizations are trying to respond immediately to the needs of the newly displaced people, while some of the organizations’ officials believe that “the situation demands an international interference with regard to the massive numbers  of affected people”.

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