Disaster Alert: Civil Unrest in Syria

Disaster Alert

Situation Overview

Due to conflict between government and opposition forces, the humanitarian situation in Syria has worsened, especially in the cities of Homs and Al Zabadani. Food and water supplies are running low and thousands of people are trapped in their homes or are fleeing to escape the fighting.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been assisting those in need since the violence began 10 months ago. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recently called for a daily two-hour cease-fire so that the Red Crescent can deliver emergency aid to the wounded and sick.

The secretary general of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was killed January 25 while traveling in a vehicle clearly marked with the Red Crescent emblem. Members of the Global Red Cross and Red Crescent network have called for those involved in the violence to respect the mission of the Red Crescent, which is to assist those in need in a neutral and impartial manner.

American Red Cross Response

The American Red Cross is monitoring the situation and stands ready to provide assistance as needed. Previously, in October 2011, the American Red Cross committed $135,000 to support Red Cross and Red Crescent response activities in Syria due to unrest.


Syrian Arab Red Crescent
Over the last 10 months, staff and volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have played a vital role rushing aid to those affected by the violence. They have provided medical care and ambulance services for the injured and distributed much needed food, hygiene supplies and other items to those affected.

Despite difficult conditions on the ground, Red Crescent and ICRC teams have recently managed to enter the cities of Homs, Bludan, Al Zabadani and Madaya to provide humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people in need. They provided a mobile clinic, medical services, food and other items to assist hundreds of families in these cities.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
The ICRC, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has been delivering essential first aid, medical supplies and other emergency response equipment to affected areas, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation):
The International Federation has appealed for more than $2 million in support for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to respond to the crisis and to assist 50,000 Syrians with food and relief supplies.

The information in this report is compiled from a number of sources including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the U.S. Agency for International Development and involved national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. The American Red Cross strives to provide the most accurate and timely information possible; however, all information should be considered conditional until a final report has been issued.

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