Since 27 November 2016, Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) has been responding to the huge displacement of people in Aleppo. Tens of thousands of people have left their homes, many arriving to shelters in Jibreen and Mahalej where Red Crescent volunteers, together with partners, have been providing emergency aid including three mobile clinics, first aid, water, hot food, nutritional supplements, mattress and torches. IFRC food parcels, blankets and hygiene kits were deployed to assist the relief operation.
Volunteers are working hard to provide relief to people who are suffering not only from displacement, but the cold winter temperatures compounded by several days of torrential rain.
Several hundred families have been able to return to the district of Masaken Hanano. SARC have conducted assessments in the area and are providing blankets and food to returnees, and collective water tanks. A Syrian Arab Red Crescent mobile clinic is also on site, working 12 hours a day and treating around 300 patients daily.
On 8 December, Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams together with the ICRC also evacuated 124 people and 11 bodies from an old people’s home that had been housing psychiatric patients inside Eastern Aleppo.
The large-scale operation has seen volunteers working around the clock as people continued to arrive at all hours of the day and night.
“We have been planning for this operation and had prepared relief stocks in a specially designated warehouse in advance,” explains Tammam Muhrez, Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s head of operations, who recently returned from Aleppo.
“To provide for the needs of so many people required a coordinated response across disaster management teams, logistics, health, and water and sanitation and all areas. Our volunteers were trained and ready for such an emergency. This was essential to ensure that when the first wave of people arrived, the shelters were ready with mattresses, blankets, plastic sheets and other provisions.”
“When people arrive they are happy to be there, but many are still in shock. They are worried about their relatives, and about how to provide the basics for their families.”
Syrian Arab Red Crescent are working alongside partner organizations including the ICRC and UN agencies as the response continues. Critical repairs to water pumping stations are being carried out by the Red Crescent with the support of the ICRC, in order to help restore water supplies to Eastern Aleppo.