The humanitarian consequences of the violence in Syria, even compared to the desolation and conflict in Central African Republic and South Sudan, are shocking. The fighting has made it extremely difficult for humanitarian agencies to gain access to vulnerable communities. Almost 11 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, 6.4 million people are internally displaced, and 2.9 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries. The UN predicts that by the end of 2014, neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey will see over 4 million refugees. As refugee populations are increasingly stressing already fragile systems in host countries, the humanitarian crisis has developed into a large-scale social and economic emergency affecting the entire region.
Despite the challenges to access within Syria as well as in ever-evolving camp and urban areas hosting refugees throughout neighboring countries, International Medical Corps is continuing to provide comprehensive response programs in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
In Damascus, Rif Damascus and Tartous International Medical Corps is operating mobile medical units and supporting 19 health care facilities. We have delivered nearly 300,000 patient consultations for conflict-affected people since April 2012. In addition, we have provided mental health and psychosocial support services to nearly 26,000 displaced Syrians and reached more than 65,000 people with critical kits for cooking, first aid and hygiene.
In Jordan, International Medical Corps provides primary health care, mental health and psychosocial support services at static and mobile clinics to Iraqi and Syrian refugees as well as vulnerable host populations. In response to the dramatic influx of refugees into Jordan, we have been working to expand mental health and psychosocial support services throughout the country. We have mobilized additional medical and psychosocial support teams to provide services and are working with our longtime partner Jordan Health Aid Society to deploy local medical personnel.
In partnership with UNICEF and Save the Children, International Medical Corps provides mental health and psychosocial support services, in addition to trainings for partner organizations, at UNHCR’s Za’atari refugee camp, where over 80,000 Syrians now reside. Since over 55% of camp residents are under the age of 18, we are also conducting youth empowerment activities for Syrian teens. In 2013, 32,000 children under 18 visited International Medical Corps-run child friendly spaces at the camp.
In Lebanon, we provide primary health care (PHC) and psychosocial support services to Syrian refugees, as well as Iraqi refugees and members of the host population. We also operate 9 mobile medical units and support 45 health facilities throughout the country. Since the start of 2013, International Medical Corps has provided over 300,000 PHC consultations, and reached over 680,000 Syrian refugees with health awareness sessions.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, International Medical Corps is working with refugees in Domiz camp. Through our mobile medical clinics we have provided over 21,000 consultations to date. International Medical Corps also supports two PHC clinics. Our teams are concentrating their work in camp sectors which are on the outskirts of Domiz - areas where the sick and disabled have difficulty reaching PHC clinics. In addition, outreach workers have identified and provided psychosocial support services for almost 800 vulnerable camp residents, including gender-based violence survivors.
In southern Turkey, International Medical Corps is working with refugees, providing PHC consultations, mental health and psychosocial services. To date, we have delivered over 60,000 consultations at the clinic in Kilis, provided health education to over 6,000 households, and reached over 600 refugees with mental health and psychosocial services. In addition, we are providing activities for youth through our child friendly spaces, and have had over 5,000 participants to date.
Facts at a Glance
10.8 million People in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria
6.4 million Internally Displaced Persons in Syria
2.9 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries
5.5 million Children affected by the crisis
1,127,513 Syrian refugees in Lebanon
799,457 Syrian refugees in Turkey
606,716 Syrian refugees in Jordan
220,210 Syrian refugees in Iraq
*Information courtesy of USAID
Since its inception 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance.