SARC teams on alert to alleviate the threatening winter conditions in Syria

Published: 28 January 2015 21:55 CET

By Vivian Tou’meh, Syrian Arab Red Crescent

Volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) have been deployed following heavy snow storms which hit the country in recent weeks. Volunteers have been helping people to move out of unfinished buildings and providing heat, blankets and warm clothes.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar, President of SARC said: “The snowstorm has shown once more that our staff and volunteers are ready and prepared to respond at all times. We thank all SARC those who were able to help people in the freezing weather.”

In Damascus, volunteers responded to several cases related to ice in the streets and motoring accidents. SARC teams distributed blankets and hot meals to people in Masaken, Barzeh, Hamish and Maisat. They also managed to help 824 people leave East Gouta to find places in emergency shelters, and distributed 100 mattresses, 220 blankets, 120 kitchen sets, 130 hygiene kits, 300 canned food parcels and 300 kids hygiene kits with a support from the ICRC and UNHCR.

In parallel, the Child Protection Department mobile teams searched for displaced people in public places and transferred nine orphans to a new SARC center at SOS villages, an orphanage house. Meanwhile, first aid teams in Damascus transferred 188 cases to hospitals.

Disaster teams in Homs distributed blankets and tarpaulins in Hisyah camp, which accommodates people displaced from Qusair and al-Shallal area, and Deir Balbah.

Laila, Homs branch SARC volunteer, said: “We launched an initiative called Let Us Help. The idea is to collect clothes and distribute it to people in need. The campaign has inspired the local community to donate suitable clothes. UNICEF has also provided 8,000 boxes of clothes for distribution to affected families in the countryside.”

Swaidaa branch called up 10 additional first aid teams to cover day and night emergencies. The relief teams were on stand by with the needed safety procedures and an emergency plan to respond to all families affected by the freezing storm. The operations room was on alert for urgent calls, which eventually totaled 227.

The cases ranged from heart attack and suffocation to urgent medicine deliveries. Finally they had also a joyful case of a baby born in a SARC ambulance on the way to the hospital.