By Dr. Abdulrahman Attar, President, Syrian Arab Red Crescent
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) is saddened by allegations repeated in various media over the last week that the organisation is “not to be trusted”.
We are gravely concerned, and stress that these allegations are not only untrue, but are an affront to the sacrifices our staff and volunteers continue to make to gain access and provide humanitarian aid to all Syrian people in need, regardless of their nationality, religion, or political affiliation.
Since last Friday, SARC volunteers in Homs, alongside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), have been working around the clock to evacuate wounded from the Baba Amr neighborhood of the city. Their efforts resulted in thirty people being brought to safety – 27 who were rescued on Friday, including 20 women and children, and a further three on Monday.
Together with the ICRC and International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC), the SARC has provided medical relief and food aid to people in need in places including Daraa, Idlib, Hama, Homs, Deir al Zour, Madaya, Zabadani, as well as elsewhere.
The repetition of unfounded allegations questioning the neutrality and trustworthiness of the SARC is not only undermining trust in the organisation and putting the lives of our staff and volunteers at risk, it is also hampering our efforts to deliver lifesaving aid on the ground, to all people in need.
Already during the current crisis SARC has lost two members - Alhakam Darq Sbaie, volunteer, and Dr. Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro, our Secretary General and President of the Idlib branch - who were killed while simply trying to do their jobs, responding to humanitarian needs.
We would like to express our strong appreciation for the support that is being provided by our partners in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement; the IFRC, ICRC, and national Red Cross Red Crescent societies around the world. Their support, along with the dedicated efforts of our own Syrian staff and volunteers, has enabled the SARC to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of people in need regardless of their nationality, religion, or political affiliation.
It is imperative for all those in need that we are able to continue our work.