The Syria Crisis
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Read on to see how your act of generosity is helping to make a difference in a crisis this huge.
Food for the starving in besieged towns
After months of negotiation with parties to the conflict, food and medical supplies are being delivered to people trapped in towns under siege.
Aid convoys from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent reached the towns of Madaya, Foua and Kefraya in January, with food for 60,000 people. In February aid convoys reached the town of Moadamiyeh, where thousands of people waited.
Red Cross' Marianne Glasser describes what she saw in a health centre in Madaya: "I was met by the sight of limp bodies lying on blankets on the floor: elderly people, weak from hunger and illness."
"There were several children, hollow-faced. I noticed the needle marks on their arms where drips had been administered to try to give them the sustenance they needed to survive."
Red Cross continues to negotiate for ceasefires that allow aid to reach besieged areas.
Please help Syrian families survive by making another urgent tax-deductible donation to the Syria Crisis Appeal.
Cash to survive the winter
In neighbouring Jordan, teachers Emir and Sabeen are raising their four children in a barn. They earn perhaps $40 a week, which barely covers their rented barn.
Cash grants from Red Cross are helping the family to survive the winter by buying a heater and winter clothing. "When we heard about the cash, our daughters were dancing," Emir says.
Nonetheless, the scars of their time in Syria run deep. "There was a huge attack in our town; many people were in the streets with cut heads and hands," Sabeen explains.
"When my daughter Mala draws, she draws dead people."
"Shampoo. The one with two apples that removes dandruff."
That's what eight-year-old Mouna likes best in the hygiene kit that Red Crescent volunteers deliver to her and her mum Razdan every month. Forced out of their house in Homs, they live in a temporary shelter and expect to flee if violence breaks out again.
The hygiene kits are funded by Australian donors. They include soap, toothpaste, sanitary pads, toilet paper and - of course - Mouna's shampoo with apples on the bottle.
These simple things help Razdan keep her dignity and give Mouna and her brothers as normal a life as possible. "I try as much as I can to help them forget our situation, so they do well in school."
The people on the front line
In the last five years, more than 60 Red Crescent volunteers have been killed in Syria: often while evacuating the wounded. We grieve with their families and call on all parties to the conflict to respect the red cross and red crescent emblems and allow those providing aid to work in safety.
Basem and Sarah got married in 2014. On the morning of their wedding day, they were distributing food to people who had been forced from their homes by fighting. They got married that afternoon and went back to Syrian Arab Red Crescent the next day to load up the next food convoy.
Taharni fled Syria three years ago with her family and was lucky enough to find a job as a pharmacist in Jordan. She now volunteers to teach Syrian refugees basic first aid skills and health knowledge. "Syrians and Jordanians have the same culture and traditions, so working together we can find solutions," she says.
Ryad Kanawati is a first aid volunteer, part of a team that put their lives on the line to help those wounded in the fighting. "Most of the patients we assist with ambulances are injured after shelling attacks," he says. Ryad also helps out in clinics and mobile health units, which provide basic health care across the country.
Please support our Syria Crisis Appeal
Please help Syrian families survive by making urgent tax-deductible donation to the Syria Crisis Appeal.
When you donate, you give something even more valuable than food, water or medicine. You give the families of Syria hope that the world still cares about them, that one day a solution can be found and they can go home again.