Our past work in neighbouring countries

Since we can work inside Syria, and most aid agencies can’t, we now focus all of our efforts on helping people who remain inside the country. In the past, however, we have done a significant amount of work with refugees in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey (see below).

Helping refugees in Lebanon

As of 1 January 2014, 858,641 Syrian refugees had fled into Lebanon. There are no official refugee camps for them; people are hosted by local communities, seek refuge in empty buildings, or set up ramshackle camps of their own. We have distributed food parcels to refugees in Wadi Khalid, Arsaal, Tripoli and Zahleh, and provided clothes from our office in Wadi Khalid.

We have also set up several long-term projects in Lebanon. For example, in partnership with individuals from the local community, we have set up a small housing development for refugee families, providing essential shelter which is more robust than traditional refugee tents. We also established a mobile medical clinic to provide essential primary-care services among refugee populations.

A refugee’s tale: life in Lebanon

A visit to Lebanon, June-July 2012

Helping refugees in Jordan

As of 1 January 2014, 1 million Syrian refugees had fled into Jordan. In June 2012, we took a group of UK volunteers there for a week to deliver medical aid and clothes. We delivered medical equipment (donated by GP practices in England) to field hospitals inside Daraa, including medicines, an ECG machine, a nebuliser, blood-glucose monitors, blood-pressure meters and medical consumables. We also distributed clothing.

Among the group was a Syrian psychiatrist from the UK on his second professional visit. He treated patients ranging from 3 to 72 years old at 4 clinics, bringing to 100 the total number treated over his 2 trips. Most had serious psychiatric problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), conduct behavioural problems, insomnia, anxiety and severe depression. Teenagers were bedwetting and many people described flashbacks, total loss of appetite and no desire for social interaction. Each patient was also given money to purchase medication. The psychiatrist used part of his visit to train local doctors in treating PTSD.

Helping refugees in Turkey

As of 1 January 2014, 559,994 Syrian refugees had fled into Turkey, where the language spoken is Turkish, not Arabic. We have therefore provided empathetic reading materials in Arabic for refugee children, helping to ensure they don’t lose the ability to read their own language. Read more about our education programme.

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