Since early 2013, Handicap International has deployed rehabilitation teams to northern Syria, where they've provided physical therapy to the injured and people with disabilities and non communicable diseases. The organization has worked with injured Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon since the summer of 2012. In summer 2014, Handicap International extended its operations to include Syrian refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan. In 2015, demining experts assessed the northern city of Kobani. Four months of combat, including ground fighting and coalition air strikes in Kobani left an average of ten munitions per square meter in the city center, and destroyed nearly 80% of buildings, according to the brief Handicap International released in May.
Five years after the start of the current crisis, Syria is bogged down in a bloody conflict that has claimed more than 470,000 lives. Fighting is taking place in residential areas, with no distinction made between civilian and military targets. Entire neighborhoods are targeted by daily strikes and, in many part of the country, health facilities, which are seen as strategic targets, have been driven underground, with scant resources to cope with the constant influx of injured people. According to the UN, eight million Syrians have been displaced internally and more than four million people have fled Syria to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and other countries.
Handicap International currently employs more than 500 national and expatriate staff to aid refugees and internally displaced persons in the countries affected by the Syrian conflict.
Handicap International helps hospitals and clinics care for injured refugees by supplying rehabilitation equipment and organizing physical therapy sessions for patients. The rehabilitation team provides physical therapy to people who have had limbs amputated and need to learn to use artificial limbs, as well as people with injuries such as complex fractures that could result in a permanent disability due to prolonged periods of inactivity.
The organization supports vulnerable and displaced families through distributions of food and hygiene items.
Risk education teams visit displaced people in camps and urban areas to educate them about the dangers posed by explosive remnants of war. In particular, children are taught how to identify and avoid ordnance. More than 71,500 Syrians have been educated so far.
Handicap International works in close collaboration with local and international organizations to ensure that services for refugees and displaced people are accessible to people with reduced mobility.
THESE PROJECTS ARE POSSIBLE THANKS TO HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL DONORS, AND THE FOLLOWING FUNDING BODIES: