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Red Cross doubles funding requirement for Syria


International relief effort expands to include Turkey.

Tuesday November 13, 2012

Syria Crisis
Syrian citizens settled in tent cities, set up by Turkish Red Crescent near the border with Syria. Photo: Turkish Red Crescent

Red Cross is calling on Australians to support the Syria Crisis Appeal as the international relief effort expands to include bringing aid to the thousands of Syrians now living in refugee camps in Turkey.

With winter approaching and refugee numbers in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq forecast to reach 700,000 by the end of the year, the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has increased the call for international assistance in response to the armed conflict in Syria.

Australian Red Cross Head of International Program, Donna McSkimming said after 19 months of crisis the armed conflict in Syria continues to intensify and the civilian population continues to suffer.

"It is estimated that by the start of 2013 as many as four million people will need humanitarian relief due to the conflict in Syria," said Ms McSkimming.

The international Red Cross Red Crescent Appeal has been expanded to include refugees living in Turkey and the funding requirement for Syria has increased by $32 million to $64 million. The funds are needed to provide food, water, shelter and medical aid to people affected by the conflict inside Syria and those displaced by the fighting now in neighbouring countries. Funds are also needed to provide cooking stoves, blankets and other winter items.

"More than 1.5 million Syrians have been forced from their homes by the fighting. Individuals and families have often had to leave their homes without blankets or winter clothes and now face a bleak winter living in makeshift camps and temporary shelters," said Ms McSkimming.

"Unfortunately, despite the great need, the response from donors around the world has been slow, with the international humanitarian response receiving less than half of the required funding to date.

"In Australia, we have launched an Appeal to help support the relief effort in Syria. We are calling on the Australian public to do what they can to help Red Cross respond to this urgent crisis."

How to make a donation:

  • People can visit www.redcross.org.au/syriacrisis to make a secure online donation;
  • Make a donation via credit card by calling 1800 811 700; or
  • Send a cheque or money order with a note that it is for the Syria Crisis Appeal 2012 to: GPO Box 2957, Melbourne, Victoria, 8060.
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