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Syria: Humanitarian situation worsening constantly

Malteser International continues to provide medical aid

Patients are being treated in the refugee camps along the border. Photo: Mustafa Soltan

The situation is becoming increasingly difficult for aid personnel in Syria, particularly in the crowded and contested zone near to the Turkish border. A narrow strip of territory just under two miles wide is now all that separates the Malteser International medical facilities, run by our Syrian partners, from the fighting. “Conditions are worsening day by day, and the number of people in need of help continues to rise,” said Janine Lietmeyer, Malteser International’s Middle East Manager.

The Syrian border region of Azaz, where Malteser International is working, remains in control of moderate opposition forces. Over half of its 300,000 current inhabitants are internally displaced people, and more are coming every day, as fighting around the city of Aleppo, and an ISIS offensive in the region force people to flee for safety. For many thousands of these displaced people, this is the second or third time that they have had to run in fear of their lives.

Malteser International is continuing to provide aid via its local partner organization. We are doing our best to provide as much help as we can in spite of the poor conditions. Although our four basic health units regularly need to be evacuated because of the extreme danger of the situation, the doctors there are still managing to treat almost 12,000 patients per month.

Two of these basic health units – mobile clinics – have been deployed to the newly-erected camps for displaced people alongside the Syrian-Turkish border since February – making it easier for staff to respond where the level of need is highest, and react flexibly to the constantly-changing front lines. “We will keep on helping as many people in the region as we can, as long as the security situation on the ground allows us to,” said Lietmeyer. 


Katharina Kiecol
Email: katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org

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