Basem and Sarah got married and the same day helped deliver aid to thousands of people in Syria. (Photo: Ibrahim Malla/IFRC)
Basem and Sarah got married recently but their wedding day was not a big party. In the morning, they distributed food and hygiene kits for people forced from their homes in Syria. In the afternoon they got married. They went back to work the next day, spending their honeymoon getting relief supplies to the millions in need across Syria.
Today, Basem is back at the Syrian Arab Red Crescent warehouse. "We have seven containers coming in, each around 12 metres long," he explains. "We can unload a container like this one in about 25 minutes. This one has about 855 food parcels, and we expect 7,500 in total today. This container took about two days to reach us from Turkey."
Cold wintry conditions are quickly approaching and close to 11 million people need help in Syria. Food relief, water and blankets are urgently being delivered across the country.
Each container is full of food parcels. The pallets of 100 parcels are carefully removed by a forklift, and two parcels on every pallet are removed for spot checks. The results of the deliveries are fed back to the donor and the supplier to ensure the quality of the aid parcel.
While it's important to get aid to people quickly, it's not acceptable to deliver food that may be rotten or substandard. Ensuring standards are upheld, means there is a need for constant checks but ultimately it prevents problems further down the supply chain when the food reaches people.
The containers are sent from two huge warehouses in the Syrian coastal town of Tartous. The warehouses are the main entry point for all Red Cross Red Crescent goods coming into Syria, and for some other agencies as well.
An hour later, two Red Cross Red Crescent trucks pull up to the warehouse. Each are loaded with 500 food parcels and hygiene kits, enough aid for 1,000 families. Basem explains "This is for a delivery happening today. In just two or three hours this aid will be in Homs."
Please consider donating to the Syria Crisis Appeal to help get relief to Syrians in need.