August 18, 2017
World Humanitarian Day: August 19th
Syria has been consumed by civil war and conflict since 2011, with civilians and health facilities targeted indiscriminately by warring parties. Fundamental human rights are violated every day in Syria – with tens of thousands of people continuing to “disappear”and thousands detained and tortured in Syrian jails such as Saydnaya. Of the 450,000 people killed in the war, it’s estimated that 50,000 were children. The medical needs within Syria are vast, and more than 50% of Syrian medical experts have fled the country.
More than half of the health centers and hospitals that existed before the war are no longer operational. Health facilities are also deliberately targeted by the Syrian regime – in 2016 alone they were targeted 388 times. Doctors of the World has been working in Syria since 2012, supporting 21 health centers in Idlib, Aleppo and Dera’a. Our teams provide primary healthcare and sexual and reproductive care to Syrians affected by conflict.
Since the fall of Aleppo in December 2016, the international community has decided to ignore Syria. But the terror continues: the civilian population continues to suffer horrendous physical and psychological trauma.
In addition to the roughly 6 million Syrians internally displaced by the war, 4.8 million have left the country as refugees. Many have fled into neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, but also to countries across Europe including Greece, Germany and France. Our work with Syrians continues along this migratory route, where we provide medical care for thousands of Syrian migrants across the Middle East and Europe every day.
We have also created a number of award-winning campaigns to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees, including I’m Moving To Canada, Just Like Us, Get The Real Story and our billboard campaign, Out Of Sight Out Of Mind.