Humanitarian Access and the Respect and Protection of Medical and Humanitarian Personnel, Facilities and Transport in Syria

OTTAWA, Oct. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Red Cross welcomes Minister Paradis' call for humanitarian agencies to have free, safe, and unhindered access to those in need, and for the respect and protection of medical and humanitarian personnel, facilities, and transport. Support for neutral and impartial delivery of humanitarian aid on the ground is essential.

The international community must work together to ensure that assistance reaches people in need in Syria. It is also imperative that medical and humanitarian personnel be given the space necessary to operate and carry out their mandate. The total number of Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) personnel who have lost their lives since the beginning of this conflict has risen to 22, all of them killed while carrying out their humanitarian duties.

Humanitarian access for agencies is challenging. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement must negotiate access daily to people most in need across Syria. In particular, SARC is able to deliver aid through its 14 branches and 84 sub-branches, in Damascus and in many vulnerable areas in governorates across Syria. It currently distributes food and non-food items to more than two million people, on a monthly basis.

The majority of humanitarian needs inside Syria are not being met and needs are increasing with over four million internally displaced persons requiring aid.

To date, thanks to contibutions from the Canadian government, the Canadian Red Cross has been able to provide medical supplies and services through SARC within Syria. The Canadian Red Cross has also provided food aid, along with other relief supplies, delegates and funds.

The needs in Syria remain high. Canadians who want to help provide urgent life-saving assistance to Syrian families can donate to the Canadian Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal. Funds raised will support the on-going Red Cross Movement operations in Syria and the region.

SOURCE: Canadian Red Cross

For further information:

Canadian Red Cross media line
(613) 740-1994

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