Aid from KZN for Syrian camp

2012-12-08 00:00

A KWAZULU-NATAL humanitarian organisation, the Al-Imdaad Foundation, launched an urgent winter aid mission for Syrian refugees in Jordan on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Syrian families have fled to Jordan after war broke out between rebels and the Assad regime in their home country.

As temperatures plummet to minus four degrees there, the foundation embarked on a campaign to distribute food parcels and blankets to the needy refugees.

“An emergency medical unit has also been set up at the Al Zaatari refugee camp to attend to the sick and wounded,” said head of the Syrian mission and logistics co-ordinator, Mahmood Asvat.

He said that despite the dire situation, the refugees are in a good mood and their spirits remained high.

“They are very friendly and jolly. They are happy that we are here with the help,” said Asvat.

He said he has lasting impressions from the relief effort.

“When you hand over a blanket or food parcel to a refugee, the expression of joy on their face is something we will remember forever.”

There are currently 90 000 refugees in Jordan. The Al Zaatari camp currently houses 46 000. The refugees are not allowed to leave the camp, and due to the steady increase of refugees, the camp has space for limited numbers. Five hundred new refugees are allowed into the camp every day.

“There are a lot of refugees at the Syrian border, waiting to cross in, but they are not allowed to. These people have nowhere to go. Their homes have been destroyed, their family members have been killed, and they have nothing. The situation is dire,” said Asvat.

The Al-Imdaad Foundation’s relief efforts, made possible by donations from the Islamic community in South Africa, are being co-ordinated by the foundation’s Jordan office.

Two thousand blankets will be distributed to the refugees.

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