OTTAWA, May 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Two weeks after launching a national joint appeal to assist Syrian
refugees, the Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies are
growing increasingly concerned for the health of the more than 1.5
million people who have fled to neighbouring countries.
With summer fast approaching, clean water and medicine reserves are
getting alarmingly low. Without a rapid scaling up of public health
programs, the heat and overpopulation in camps and host communities in
Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey will soon combine to widespread detrimental
effect. To avoid infections and epidemics, it is of utmost importance
that relief agencies be given the means to carry on with their
reinforcement of solid sanitation standards.
Already, Oxfam is reporting a rise in the number of cases of skin
infections due to uneven hygiene practices. In Jordan's Zaatari camp,
along with local partners, they are building emergency latrines, shower
blocks, laundry facilities, and water taps.
"We are calling on Canadians to help us prevent a deeper disaster. With
numbers swelling, temperatures rising and water scarce, there's a
growing risk of disease," said Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam
Canada. "That could have a devastating impact, especially for children
and the elderly."
For people who are uprooted and have just arrived in refugee
settlements, accessing health services can be problematic. That is why
CARE manages a centre that provides information and helps Syrians find
the medical assistance they require. But supplies are limited and human
resources are stretched.
Save the Children is also in the region, feeding infants and
implementing psycho-social support programs for displaced children who,
in some cases, are separated from their family. Their work must
"The health conditions for Syrian refugees have us all worried. The
plight of the most vulnerable, such as children, the elderly, and the
handicapped is especially precarious," said Nicolas Moyer, Executive
Director of the Humanitarian Coalition. "Without a robust humanitarian
response, some will not receive the vital help they need to remain
healthy or to fight off illness."
As Canadians begin to turn their attention to the pleasures of summer,
the Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies hope that they will
hear our plea on behalf of Syrian civilians whose lives are currently
on hold. If we can help, there is no good reason not to.
For information on the Syrian refugee crisis and our response, go to: www.together.ca
The Humanitarian Coalition is a joint appeal mechanism. It is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam
Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children. With a
combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together
Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of
international humanitarian crises. We work together to eliminate
unnecessary competition, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs,
and inform the public on humanitarian needs. Follow us on and Twitter: https://twitter.com/humcoalition and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanitariancoalitionhumanitaire.
SOURCE: Humanitarian Coalition
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