UN’s largest relief shipment to Syria departs from Dubai

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is sending the largest shipment of emergency relief items so far this year from its Dubai-based global stockpile intended for persons uprooted within Syria.

By (Wam)

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Published: Sat 17 Aug 2013, 12:35 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:11 PM

Thirty-three trucks carrying the relief items started leaving Dubai on Thursday.

Amongst the items being shipped across the Arabian peninsula from Dubai are blankets for 100,000 people, more than 27,000 kitchen sets for some 139,000 people and 50,000 jerry cans that will help more than 125,000 people.

The relief items will travel by road across the UAE and Saudi Arabia for delivery to the UNHCR’s forward warehouse in Jordan, from where the goods will be sent into Syria.

“The UNHCR is working inside Syria and in neighbouring countries to help people uprooted by the war,” said Amin Awad, Director of Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa and Regional Refugee Coordinator.

“This shipment of relief items will ensure thousands of vulnerable Syrian families have the necessary aid they require amidst the horrific conflict,” Awad said from Amman.

So far this year, the UNHCR has distributed urgently needed relief items to more than 1.6 million people inside Syria, many of them displaced by the conflict that is now in its third year. To date, the UNHCR field teams have distributed more than 3.6 million relief items inside Syria including within many besieged areas.

“In the last week, the UNHCR and its partners sent a convoy of nine trucks into the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib with UNHCR relief items for 10,000 people living in the city that is still the scene of active fighting,” said Tarik Kurdi, UNHCR Representative in Syria.

In Damascus, the UNHCR is currently completing its second distribution of cash assistance to internally displaced Syrians. So far this year, more than 33,000 people from 6,395 families have been assisted in Damascus with aid totaling more than $910,000 in Syrian pounds. Most of the internally displaced persons in Damascus that qualify for the UNHCR cash assistance programme fled Adra, a city northeast of the Syrian capital. Throughout Syria, the UNHCR cash assistance has reached more than 62,000 people from more than 11,900 families in 2013.

“The UNHCR has established vulnerability criteria and carefully screens internally displaced persons to ensure they qualify for the cash aid programme,” Kurdi said from Damascus. “Many of the displaced persons we are assisting are persons with disabilities or serious medical conditions.”

The shipment is part of the UN refugee agency’s efforts to help prepare many of Syria’s more than 4.25 million internally displaced persons for the upcoming winter. Overall, relief agencies estimate that there are more than 6.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria.



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