Médecins Sans Frontières Responds To Growing Syrian Refugee Crisis

The civil war in Syria has resulted in thousands of people fleeing the violence every day. Since the war erupted nearly two million people have been displaces and have sought refuge in nearby countries. Médecins Sans Frontières has been working hard in Northern Iraq to respond to this escalating crisis.

  “We came from Tel Brak in north-eastern Syria. Seven months ago we left our house as the area was becoming a war zone. The entire village left, we lived seven months in the mountains, with no proper place to live, no work, no money and sometimes no food.  After seven months we decided to move to Al Qamishli and cross the border from there into Iraq. The borders were closed, so we had to stay in a school nearby. When we heard that the borders were open again we left early in the morning. It took us two hours to cross on foot. We feel so relieved to be here.” says Zeina, who has just crossed the Iraqi border with her husband and four children.

Approximately 60,000 refugees have fled the violence in Syria and entered the Kurdish region of Iraq since August 15th following the reopening of the border which had been closed for three months. On the first day of reopening, nearly 7,000 people made the journey across the border and since then, 800 people are making the journey each day.

Since the middle of September the border was closed for two weeks before reopening yet again. Médecins Sans Frontières has put teams on the ground at the border and at camps surrounding the border to respond should there be a large influx of people.

The organsiation has also set up check points on both sides of the border so where refugees can receive medical consultations and also water whilst they await transfer to a transit camp.

“The majority of our patients are children, pregnant women or mothers who have recently given birth. Many are suffering from moderate dehydration due to the long distance they’ve had to walk or the long waiting time before crossing the border. We are also seeing cases of chronic disease such as hypertension, asthma and epilepsy. Several have not been able to access their medicines in Syria where the health system has fallen apart.  Some patients we see in our health post are in a state of shock: they have been displaced many times inside Syria since the conflict erupted and decided to cross the border because they faced life-threatening situations,” says Paul Yon, Médecins Sans Frontières’ Head of Mission in Dohuk

Since mid August on the Iraqi side of the border teams from Médecins Sans Frontières have given as many as 1040 healthcare consultations to refugees. The organisation has also distribute non food items and in the coming days Médecins Sans Frontières will expand the number of camps it is offering healthcare consultations.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Comments are closed.