The conflict in Syria has caused a grave humanitarian crisis. Chemical weapons and bombs were used without hesitation. Ancient cities were destroyed; more than 500 thousand people lost their lives. More than 6 million people have sought refuge in other countries. Currently, 13 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and about 5 million people have limited access to aid. 2.8 million people live with disabilities because of the war.
Since the beginning of the war, IHH has continued its operations in Syria with 11 coordination centers. More than 100 thousand people live in 161 residential areas that we have built as tent and container cities. Food is delivered to the refugees from bakeries and kitchens which we support. 35 clothing stores meet the clothing needs of the refugees. Health services are provided in 46 health facilities we have built and 36 hospitals and health centers that we support. Students receive education in 2 universities and 46 schools. The children’s living center built in Reyhanlı accommodates 1000 orphans. Every month, we provide regular aid to more than 27 thousand orphans.
- Where does IHH coordinate Syrian relief activities?
Our Syria activities are carried out through 14 different centers and offices covering an open area of 200 thousand square meters and a closed area of 95 thousand square meters. Coordinating and logistics centers are located in Reyhanli, Kilis, Anlurfa, Bab Al-Hava, Bab As-Selam, and offices are located in Yayladag, El-Bab, Türkmendag, Jarablus, and Afrin. These facilities, which include bakeries, soup kitchens, and warehouses and are where humanitarian aid is coordinated, also host diplomatic and international meetings.
Humanitarian aids provided by IHH to Syrian refugees between 2011 and 2022:
270 million loaves of bread
27 million pieces of
convenience food and canned goods
267 thousand tons of food,
32,5 thousand tons of fuel
1.2 million liters of fuel
25,2 million pieces of clothing
2,3 million kitchen products
7 million pieces of books and stationery
15 million drugs, medical equipment, and devices
4.9 million pieces of hygiene products
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Humanitarian Diplomacy in Syria
We also play an active role in the field with our humanitarian diplomacy operations in Syria. Civilians who were stranded in Aleppo that was besieged by the Syrian regime at the end of 2016, and were even denied access to humanitarian aid, were confronted with a major massacre. Upon the appeal and organization by IHH, more than 5 thousand vehicles and 40 thousand passengers took part in the convoy that set out with the slogan “Open the Road to Aleppo” with the aim of opening a humanitarian corridor in Aleppo. As a result of the humanitarian diplomacy negotiations held by Turkey together with IHH, the United Nations (UN) and other organizations, 45 thousand people were evacuated to safe regions.
Throughout the convoy’s journey, 1.208 aid trucks were prepared all over Turkey to sent to the oppressed in Aleppo. This aid, together with the emergency aid materials transported by the participants, was distributed to the refugees that were evacuated to safe zones via hundreds of IHH volunteers. Among the aid materials delivered to the tent cities that were recently set up by IHH, there were basic food needs, cleaning products, winter clothing and footwear, blankets and tents.
The convoy that gains a huge response among the world public, was also on the agenda of the United Nations. Referring to the ceasefire and evacuation in Syria, Jan Egeland, advisor to UN Special Representative to Syria, said “Turkish NGOs, in particular, IHH has achieved major success in this evacuation operation. IHH has achieved a great deal.”
IHH played an active role in the exchange of 48 Iranian citizens and the release of 2.130 Syrians imprisoned by the Syria regime in 2013, and the exchange of 464 injured captives in al-Fu’ah and al-Zabadani.