Country: Middle East and North Africa

Syria: An urgent plea for humanity amidst the agony of Eastern Ghouta

Damascus/Geneva, 23 February 2018 – The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is today issuing an urgent plea for all parties to demonstrate restraint and humanity in Eastern Ghouta, on the northern edge of the capital Damascus. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is also repeating its seven-year long call for parties to respect the neutrality of humanitarian personnel and infrastructure. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s Douma and Harasta sub-branches have been damaged in recent days, with a number of volunteers injured, including three in Douma. In addition, the head of the Red Crescent’s Idlib branch, Mohammed Abdulkader Wittee, disappeared on 17 February as he travelled between Ariha and Idlib. This appeal comes following days of escalating violence in Eastern Ghouta. “The SARC has already paid a heavy price, with more than 60 staff and volunteers killed in the line of duty since 2011,” said Robert Mardini, Regional Director for the Near and Middle East at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “It is in times like this that their role is most important. Their security must be protected.” Over the past week, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has provided food, medication and other items to about 1,440 families in Eastern Ghouta. But more support is desperately needed. “Our plea is for decency, for all parties to show restraint. Words may be failing, but...

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Syrian Arab Red Crescent completes evacuation of 29 civilians in critical need of emergency medical care from Eastern Ghouta

Damascus/Beirut/Geneva, 29 December 2017—Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have successfully transferred 29 people with serious health conditions from eastern Ghouta near Damascus. The patients and their families were transferred to hospitals in Damascus where they will be treated for their illnesses. There were 17 children among those transferred during the three-day operation, along with six women and six men. All are suffering various life-threatening conditions that require advanced hospital care and treatment. “We’ve been planning for this operation and waiting to be given safe access,” said Mr Khaled Hboubati, the President of Syrian Arab Red Crescent. “Now, our volunteers were able to transfer people with life-threatening chronic diseases and serious injuries to get medical help. We want to thank all parties involved, especially our Red Cross Red Crescent partners, ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).” In late December, IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, visited Syria and met with senior government officials. Mr Rocca stressed the need to increase regular, safe and secure access of Red Crescent volunteers to communities in need across Syria and to facilitate the transfer of people with serious health conditions to hospitals where they can receive medical attention. “I hope this evacuation will be followed by many more deliveries of relief items and medical assistance to people in...

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About the IFRC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.