Amman/Geneva, 7 September 2016 – Miss Universe Japan 2016, Sari Nakazawa, said from Amman that interest in the Syrian refugee crisis is not as high as it once was as the conflict enters its sixth year, and urged the world to continue supporting vulnerable people displaced across the Middle East.

“Five years after the onset of the crisis, people’s interest in the Syrian refugee crisis is decreasing. I am here to draw their attention back to people’s suffering,” said Ms Nakazawa at the end of a week-long visit to Jordan as a volunteer with the Japanese Red Cross Society.

“I came to Jordan to meet with refugees and to see their situation with my own eyes,” she said. “When I go back to my country, I want to tell Japanese people about the hardships the Syrians have been facing.”

Dr Mohammad Al-Hadid, President of the Jordan National Red Crescent Society, said: “The valuable support of the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Japanese government in the past years has enabled us to continue responding to the needs of these vulnerable people five years into the crisis.”

Mr Nobuaki Sato, the Director of International Relief Division at the International Department of the Japanese Red Cross Society said he was impressed with the work of the Red Crescent in Jordan. “We will continue supporting National Societies in the region in their relentless efforts to meet the needs of refugees and host communities,” he said

Ms Nakazawa visited several programmes organized by the Red Crescent to support refugees and host communities, including vocational and psychosocial support centres, a hospital, cash transfer programme, and a community-based health and first aid programme, which is supported by the Japanese government. Ms Nakazawa also witnessed the distribution of relief items including hygiene kits and food baskets to Syrian families in Madaba governorate and at Marj Al Hamam park.

The Red Crescent continues to be among the first responders to the needs of those who were forced to flee their homes in search for safety. There are currently more than 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, most of whom live with host communities and rely primarily on humanitarian aid for survival. The protracted crisis has taken its toll on the resources of humanitarian organizations working with refugees, and support is still vital to ensure that all those in need are reached with aid and services.

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Monther Al-Humaidi
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