Bonn, 10/05/2019 Since the end of April heavy fighting in the province of Idlib in the north-west of Syria has led to a massive increase in the number of refugees. People have been fleeing from North Hamma and South Idlib into North Idlib and North Aleppo, in the direction of the Turkish border. Over the last two weeks more than 150,000 people have sought refuge in the existing refugee camps or set up camp outside towns or villages for fear of air attacks.
This raises massive challenges for aid organisations on the ground. Humanitarian aid workers have been among the casualties; civilian infrastructure such as hospitals has been targeted for bombing. Urgent deliveries of aid must be delayed or cancelled entirely for safety reasons. Furthermore,the resources available are not sufficient to meet the needs of new refugees. “Over recent days our local partners have repeatedly had to interrupt bread distribution, to avoid putting people in unnecessary danger. More and more families come to us suffering from hunger. The hygiene conditions are also worsening in the refugee camps. We will build new latrines with our partners, to prevent further outbreaks of disease. People are in a hopeless situation and the fighting is massively hindering our work. The fighting has to end”, demands Dirk Hegmanns, Welthungerhilfe's Regional Director in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.
Dirk Hegmanns is available for telephone interviews.
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Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since it was founded in 1962, more than 8,900 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.53 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of help for self-help: from fast disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.