Operations note on Syria: New aid delivery to people fleeing Afrin

ICRC - Op Note 18/17
20 March 2018

A 14-truck convoy from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) is delivering 25 metric tonnes of humanitarian aid on Tuesday to displaced people in Tal Rifaat, in the North of Aleppo governorate. This delivery is the second aid to reach Tal Rifaat since the intensification of fighting there in January.

Statement from ICRC President Peter Maurer following his visit to Syria

ICRC - News Release No. 18/16 NR's number
16 March 2018

My visit to Syria this week reinforces my view that wars across the region have reached a frightening new normal. Tit-for-tat battles of retribution increase in intensity with no regard for their devastating impact on civilians. 

The level of suffering in Eastern Ghouta is the latest example, joining Afrin and Mosul, Sana’a and Taiz. Too often destruction seems to be the goal as the basic standards of humanity are ignored. 

 This week the Syrian crisis entered its eighth year. How long will the powers behind the fighting allow it to drag on? They must know already that a war of vengeance is a war without end, one in which everybody loses.

When I last visited 10 months ago there were signs of hope. Rehabilitation and returns were possible. Today, though, the situation has further degraded. 

What hope is there for children who have seen families destroyed and atrocities committed? What hope for the young boy I met in the displacement camp who hasn’t attended school for years? 

Syria is a conflict characterized by regular breaches of international humanitarian law: sieges, blockades, disproportionate attacks in urban areas, and the targeting of civilians and civilian services like ambulances, water stations and markets. 

Syria: Evacuations of civilians must be humane

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) – In the event that humanitarian evacuations from Eastern Ghouta, Afrin, or any other area in Syria take place, the below standards and rules offer guidance to authorities in control of the process. Put simply, civilians and persons no longer taking a direct part in hostilities must be respected and protected at all times by all sides, including during evacuations.

The ICRC has not yet been contacted by the parties to the conflict regarding evacuations, and therefore we are not involved so far. We remain ready to work with the parties to ensure the below standards and rules are adhered to.

Syria: 13 aid-filled trucks offloaded in Douma despite close-range fighting 

ICRC - News Release No. 18/14
09 March 2018

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) – Teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and UN on Friday delivered urgently needed aid in Syria despite fighting that took place extremely close to the humanitarian convoy. 

ICRC, Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and UN teams in Eastern Ghouta delivered 2,400 food parcels that can sustain 12,000 people for one month, as well as 3,248 wheat flour bags. The 13-truck delivery was part of a convoy that could not be fully unloaded on 5 March due to the security situation.

Syria: First batch of essential aid reaches people trapped in Eastern Ghouta

ICRC - News Release No. 18/12
05 March 2018

After multiple attempts in recent weeks to gain humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta, the ICRC finally reached the town of Douma earlier today as part of a joint aid convoy with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the UN.

The 46-truck convoy includes 5,500 food parcels for over 27,500 people (one food parcel should last a family of five a month), along with vital medical and surgical items such as dressing materials.

“The convoy is a positive first step and will lessen the immediate suffering of some civilians in the Eastern Ghouta region. But one convoy, however big, will never be enough given the dire conditions and shortages people are facing. Repeated and continuous humanitarian access is essential and more must be granted in the coming period,” said ICRC’s Middle East Director, Robert Mardini.

The last time the ICRC was able to deliver aid in Eastern Ghouta was on 12 November last year.

Observations from Robert Mardini

ICRC's regional director for the Middle East, on the situation in Eastern Ghouta, Syria:

"At this very critical stage, any initiative that would give some respite to civilians from these relentless hostilities is positive. The ICRC, jointly with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, is ready to access the area and deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to the people affected by the hostilities."

"It is important to stress that what people need most is access to medicines and to healthcare. Many medical cases in Eastern Ghouta, people either sick or wounded, would have been able to get the necessary treatment if medicines had been regularly delivered to the area."

Syria: Restraint, humanitarian access badly needed in Damascus

ICRC - News Release No. 18/09
21 February 2018

Damascus (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling for restraint and access to the wounded after the deadly escalation of fighting that has hit Damascus in recent days.

“The fighting appears likely to cause much more suffering in the days and weeks ahead, and our teams need to be allowed to enter Eastern Ghouta to aid the wounded,” said Marianne Gasser, ICRC’s head of delegation in Syria.

The medical personnel in Eastern Ghouta can’t cope with the high number of injuries. The area does not have enough medicines and supplies, especially after medical facilities were reported to have been hit.

“Wounded victims are dying only because they cannot be treated in time. In some areas of Ghouta, entire families have no safe place to go,” Ms. Gasser said. “On the other side of the frontline, people in Damascus are in constant fear that their children will be hit by falling mortars. This is madness and it has to stop. Civilians must not be targeted.”

Yemen: City’s architectural connection to Islam at risk as fighting nears

ICRC - News Release No. 18/08
20 February 2018

Sana’a/Geneva (ICRC) - As fighting along Yemen’s Red Sea coast continues, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is urging all parties to the conflict to protect and respect the city of Zabid, a World Heritage Site that has the highest concentration of mosques in Yemen.

Fighting would endanger civilians, Zabid’s unique architecture and the city’s cultural connection to one of the world’s major religions. Cultural property like Zabid’s is protected by international humanitarian law.

“The fighting in Hodeida governorate is at the gates of the historic city of Zabid, fanning fears for the fate of its cultural heritage,” said Alexandre Faite, ICRC’s head of delegation in Yemen.

Libya’s triangle of tragedy: Urban violence, vast displacement, perilous migration

ICRC - News Release No. 18/07
16 February 2018

Geneva/Munich (ICRC) – As Libya enters its eighth year of conflict, the humanitarian situation of the population is relentlessly deteriorating amid persistent armed conflict, violence and insecurity, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today after a three-day visit to the country.

The ICRC has recently scaled up its operations in Libya, which has been engulfed in economic chaos, general lawlessness and armed groups vying for power since the revolution in 2011.

The threat of ongoing conflict prevents many from returning to their homes and as a result Libya suffers from one of the highest per capita displacement levels in Africa.

“It’s hard to fathom how many people are affected by conflict in Libya,” ICRC President Peter Maurer said after visiting Tripoli, Tobruk and Benghazi to assess the humanitarian situation and speak with high-level Libyan authorities. “Urban violence and vast displacement have been an everyday reality for Libyans since 2011, while migrants - desperate to reach Europe - are often trapped and abused there”.

Media Advisory: ICRC President set to arrive in Libya; news conference planned in Germany

Geneva (ICRC) - The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrives in Libya today, Monday, February 12, to take stock of the humanitarian situation. In the course of his three-day visit, Peter Maurer will meet with ...

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