World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Syria: Breakdown of Services Increases Suffering

Syria: Breakdown of Services Increases Suffering

In violence-stricken areas, the breakdown of essential services is adding to the woes of hundreds of thousands of people.

"This is not a life worth living," said Bilal, a resident of Rural Damascus. "Together with dozens of other families, we're crowded into an unfinished building shell without electricity or water. Even if the shelling around us were to stop, there would still be the heat, the flies buzzing over our heads and the stench of the garbage outside."

Areas plagued by heavy fighting, including Rural Damascus, eastern parts of Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and the governorate of Raqqa, are enduring breakdowns of essential services such as the supply of electricity and water and the collection of garbage.

"Many water stations have been damaged and can no longer supply the communities that depend on them," said Jean-Marc Burri, in charge of the ICRC's water and sanitation activities in Syria. "Furthermore, waste management services, including the collection of garbage, have become almost non-existent in some areas where fighting has been taking place, or only continue to be performed through the efforts of the people living there."

"The failure to remove refuse for lengthy periods of time could have a serious impact on the well-being of entire communities," he said. "Piles of garbage are ideal breeding grounds for disease and parasites."

To help ward off any public health catastrophe, the ICRC launched a number of projects aimed at improving overall sanitary conditions. "We're trying to improve, as far as possible, the conditions in which people affected by the fighting have to live," said Mr Burri.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, garbage in Aleppo's Jisr Al-Haj area was collected and disposed of over the past couple of weeks. In addition, insecticides were sprayed in Aleppo and Idlib to help control parasites. Furthermore, ICRC engineers worked together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and local water boards to carry out emergency repairs in areas of heavy fighting to ensure the availability of clean potable water.

Since the beginning of August, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the ICRC has also:

       provided local water boards in Rural Damascus, Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, Sweida, al-Hassakeh, Deir Ezzor, Tartous, Homs and Idlib with technical expertise, equipment and supplies, including pumps and generators;
       continued to upgrade water, housing and sanitary facilities at more than 45 public sites in eight governorates where displaced people are living, while completing work at another 14 sites in three governorates.

The ICRC's health department has:

       assessed two hospitals in Hama to which it donated surgical supplies for the full treatment of 100 seriously injured patients;
       provided the Syrian Arab Red Crescent branch in Hama with medical assistance, including chronic disease medication for the treatment of 450 patients;
       supplied the Syrian Arab Red Crescent with medications for 2,500 children.

The ICRC's relief department has:

       supplied food parcels for some 260,000 people in Deir Ezzor, Hama, Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Lattakia, Homs, Idlib and Damascus governorates;
       provided mattresses and blankets for 60,000 people in Rural Damascus, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Deir Ezzor and Damascus;
       supplied kitchen sets (cooking pots, plates, cups and cutlery) for more than 30,000 people in Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Lattakia and Damascus;
       supplied hygiene items (shampoos, soaps, washing detergents, female hygiene items, etc.) to some 70,000 people in Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Rural Damascus and Lattakia.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

University of Auckland: Low-Lying Pacific Island Has More Land Above Sea Level Than In 1943

An inhabited island in the low-lying Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands, which are thought to be at risk of being inundated by rising sea levels, has actually increased in size since 1943, scientists say. And the increase in area above sea level is likely ... More>>

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

UN: Appeals For $35 Billion To Help World’s ‘Most Vulnerable And Fragile’ In 2021

UNOCHA/HFO A family flees the violence in Idlib, Syria. (file) A record 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection next year, a near- 40 per cent increase on 2020 which is “almost entirely from COVID-19”, the UN’s emergency ... More>>

OHCHR: UN Committee Issues Recommendations To Combat Racial Profiling

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today published its guidance to combat racial profiling, emphasizing, among other issues, the serious risk of algorithmic bias when artificial intelligence (AI) is used in law enforcement. The ... More>>