Donors gathered in Berlin last week, pledging their support for critical aid efforts needed to help people affected by the prolonged violent conflict in Syria.
For 2015, the WHO in Syria will require over US$ 116 million to continue to provide life-saving medical treatments and improve access to health services across the war-torn country. “Without these resources people will be unable to access life-saving medicines, medical supplies and equipment,” said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative to Syria. She added that the needs were sharply increasing and the lives of thousands of Syrians were at risk.
The Syria Response Plan 2015 incorporates, for the first time, an approache that encompasses the entire Syrian population by bringing together humanitarian actors working inside Syria and its neighbouring countries under a single framework to increase the effectiveness of the response. Health partners are requesting a total of US$ 318 million, 182 million of which is for use within Syria.
Health concerns have been consistently cited as the primary concern of the increasingly vulnerable people in need in Syria, with 12.2 million in urgent need for humanitarian assistance inside the country, 7.6 million of whom are internally displaced persons, while another 3.2 million are refugees currently sheltered in neighbouring countries. In September, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) estimated that 90% of Syrians will be poor, and 60% will not be able to secure their own food requirements if the conflict continues in 2015.
In 2014, nine donors contributed a total of US$ 62 million to support the WHO’s operation within Syria. The funding helped to fulfil critical medical assistance efforts listed under the 2014 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) reaching 9.3 million people with provision of life-saving medical services.
“The WHO has praised the international community including the governments of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates for their continuous support to the WHO’s operations within Syria over the past years.” said Hoff.
This year, the WHO delivered over 13.5 million medical treatments to people in need across the country, more than 30% of the deliveries were distributed to hard-to-reach and opposition-controlled areas; moreover, the Organization employed over 17,000 health care workers to vaccinate over 2.9 million children against polio through 10 immunization campaigns.
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