Faced with an increasingly dire humanitarian situation, Handicap International began supplying aid to injured and disabled people inside Syria at the end of December.
The organization, which supplies aid to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, decided to extend its operations in order to meet the acute needs of people sheltering in camps or with host families. In addition to extremely difficult living conditions, made worse by the winter weather, they lack medical care, food and non-food items. Urgent action is needed.
“Many people have sustained bullet injuries and blast wounds as a result of the fighting,” says Thierry-Mehdi Benlahsen, the coordinator of Handicap International's operations in the region. “There has been no let up in the fighting or shelling, more and more people are being injured, and medical services have scant resources. We have seen fractures, often complex, amputations, and injuries, which sometimes affect the nervous system of people unable to receive basic care under proper conditions.”
In response to its initial assessments of the situation, Handicap International has set up a stationary rehabilitation unit and mobile teams to case-manage the injured by providing them with physical therapy and distributing mobility aids such as canes and orthotics. Given the extent of the needs still to be met, Handicap International's operations in Syria will be expanded as soon as possible.
According to the Red Crescent, the conflict currently raging in Syria has already forced 2.5 million people to flee the fighting and travel across the country in search of refuge.