January 8, 2013 - Los Angeles, Calif. – As the ongoing violence in Syria forces increasing numbers of families to be displaced, International Medical Corps is providing critical health services within Syria. In response to the more than 610,000 people estimated to have fled into neighboring countries, International Medical Corps is also scaling up its operations in Lebanon and Jordan to reach Syrians seeking services.
International Medical Corps is operating mobile medical units (MMUs) in Damascus to provide health services to large numbers of people displaced by the fighting – many are currently residing in schools. Additionally, at static clinics where International Medical Corps provides primary health care services to Iraqi refugees, we are supporting additional nurses and doctors specifically focused on the needs of conflict-affected Syrians. International Medical Corps is also providing mental health and psychosocial support services to displaced Syrians residing in schools throughout Damascus. In the past six months, International Medical Corps has provided health consultations to over 38,000 conflict-affected Syrians in Damascus. We have also reached over 14,000 internally displaced Syrians in other areas with health care, mental health care and psychosocial support, food items and critical supplies.
International Medical Corps, which has been working in Lebanon since 2006 and Jordan and Syria since 2007 to support Iraqi refugees and host populations, has also been providing health care and psychosocial services for Syrian refugees through static and mobile clinics in Lebanon (Bekaa and Akkar) and Jordan (Ramtha and Mafraq). In addition, International Medical Corps has been providing support to hospitals and clinics in Lebanon and Jordan as they face rising caseloads from the influx of refugees.
“Many of the Syrian civilians we’re seeing – most of them women and children – need immediate access to primary and secondary health care services.” said Rabih Torbay, Vice President of International Operations for International Medical Corps. “They also are experiencing tremendous anxiety, fear and depression, so emergency psychosocial assistance has been critical. The host governments, who have been very generous towards the displaced Syrians, are struggling to cope with the increased demands on essential services, including housing and health care.”
To address the need for social, mental health and psychosocial services at Za'atri refugee camp in Jordan where over 32,000 Syrians now reside, International Medical Corps is providing mental health case management services, psychosocial activities and humanitarian guidelines training with support from UNICEF. In addition, as more than 55% of the displaced is comprised of people under the age of 18, and there are no structured activities for youth, International Medical Corps is also implementing youth empowerment activities. Furthermore, International Medical Corps is providing technical assistance to our partner, the Jordan Health Aid Society, on the provision of primary health care services in the camp.
Since its inception nearly 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 that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.