We can act where many can’t

Aid is still not getting through to millions inside Syria who are in dire need because aid workers are coming under attack and life-saving medical deliveries are being blocked. As a result the human impact is taking a shocking turn for the worse. Syrian children inside the country are now starving and polio has returned.Rt Hon Alan Duncan, MP, UK international development minister

Many NGOs can’t work inside Syria

The conflict in Syria is rapidly developing into an appalling humanitarian crisis. However, getting aid into the country is becoming increasingly difficult and so, tragically, many people suffering in Syria believe that the world has forgotten about them. Aid agencies need permission to operate there, and according to Refugees International, “the Syrian government has heavily restricted which organisations may provide aid to whom, and in what form.” For those few agencies remaining, it is becoming more and more difficult to stay and be effective, since aid workers are being shot at or kidnapped.

We’re getting aid into Syria

We’re one of very few aid agencies able to work within Syria, sourcing and sending aid in a variety of ways:

  • We send regular shipments of humanitarian aid from the UK & France by land and sea
  • We purchase supplies of medication, equipment and food in Turkey, which we then take into Syria. We are a registered charity in Turkey, so it is easier and faster for us to get our aid into Syria from there; also, we can often get more for the money which our supporters have so generously donated.
  • Where possible, especially in difficult-to-reach areas, we fund the purchase of aid from markets within Syria, thereby helping to prop up local economies.
  • We also partner with major NGOs, who fund assistance which we can then take to those most in need.

Our aid shipments

Three times a year, we organise our Big Aid Drop and mobilise our supporters across the UK to donate and/or collect essential items such as new clothing, medical equipment, nappies and more. We ship this aid out to Syria in containers which are met by our teams in Turkey and transported into Syria. The charity now has four warehouses in Syria which are kept stocked up with supplies — so when aid is needed urgently, it can be quickly mobilised.

When we’re also sending ambulances into Syria, it makes sense to pack these vehicles with other aid, helping to get both into the country in one fell swoop. In the autumn of 2012, for example, our ‘Road to Syria’ campaign took 10 heavily laden ambulances into Syria and also paid for the fuel needed to get the convoy safely across Europe and through Turkey to the Syrian border.

We’re distributing aid within Syria

We have a network of extremely courageous aid workers on the ground in Syria. They make it possible for us to reach the most vulnerable people with the medical assistance, food and clothing provided or paid for by our supporters and partners. These teams take considerable personal risks; our aid is usually transported overnight, navigating around army checkpoints, snipers and areas of active fighting.

Where we operate in Syria

We concentrate on delivering aid to those areas which are out of reach of other agencies.

Tracking how your donations are spent

We keep tight control over how your money is spent in Syria, recording a full audit trail to ensure it is used in accordance with the Charity Commission’s guidelines. We even go one step further, asking to see details of the aid recipients to ensure that the benefit of your donations reaches those people who need it most.

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