Syrian refugees wait to receive medical care at a Za’atri refugee camp clinic. Photo by Karl Erdmann/AmeriCares.
Stamford, CT - As the deadly conflict in Syria enters its fourth year, AmeriCares is preparing a major emergency shipment to help relieve severe shortages of medicines and supplies in the war-torn country. Enough basic medical aid to treat approximately 20,000 patients is scheduled to be shipped next week to a hospital in the eastern part of the country.
“Syrian hospitals have been damaged or destroyed in the long-running conflict and the health care facilities remaining have virtually nothing left on the shelves to care for patients,” said AmeriCares Emergency Response Manager Karl Erdmann. “Medical professionals are asking us for everything from basic antibiotics, to bandages and gauze to treat gunshot wounds.”
The fighting has caused significant damage to the pharmaceutical plants that once produced 90 percent of the country’s medicine, according to U.N. agencies.
The emergency shipment is AmeriCares sixth major aid delivery for the worsening crisis that has left 9 million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Since 2012, the disaster relief and global health organization has supported Syrians displaced within the country, as well as Syrian families who have fled to Turkey and Jordan for safety.
To date, AmeriCares has delivered nearly $3.5 million in aid for the crisis, including supplying medical providers working in the Za’atri refugee camp, where the constant flow of Syrian refugees has quickly made the camp one of Jordan’s largest cities. AmeriCares has already delivered 28,000 bags of IV fluids, 32,500 injections of atropine to protect people exposed to nerve gas, and enough antibiotics and other medicines to treat an estimated 37,000 people. AmeriCares has also awarded grants to help partners procure essential drugs and urgently needed medical equipment, and supplied volunteer medical teams providing lifesaving medical care to Syrians in need through its Medical Outreach program.
“The catastrophe in Syria has continued to escalate. Despite the amount of aid mobilized to deal with the crisis, the needs on the ground far outstrip available resources,” Erdmann said. “It’s critical that we continue delivering medicines and relief supplies to help meet basic health needs.”
AmeriCares has been delivering medicines and relief supplies to the Middle East for more than 25 years in response to civil conflict as well as humanitarian crises.