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Syrian Refugee Crisis & Humanitarian Assistance

The armed conflict in Syria has devastated the homes and livelihoods of countless people throughout the country. In a war where everybody loses, communities and families are torn apart with millions forced to flee their ancestral lands to find shelter in safer parts of the country, in the refugee camps and towns of neighboring countries, or in distant continents reached through arduous and precarious journeys. The constantly changing and unpredictable scenario of international politics means that stability, safety and wellbeing are far away for the people of Syria. With the destruction of infrastructure basic health services and sanitation collapse, preventing proper treatment and exposing people to infectious diseases.

Europe Peace Foundation (EPF) is committed to providing medicines and medical equipment to Syrians within the country and in neighboring Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon in an effort to address the health crisis affecting millions of people. Services and food security have collapsed, leaving a population vulnerable to contagious diseases and lack of treatments. Those affected by the conflict, especially children and mothers, are suffering from treatable illnesses, malnutrition and trauma. These problems require the sustained support over years to come to remedy the pain and restore health.

ACCESS TO MEDICINE AND MEDICAL SERVICES

Europe Peace Foundation stands by the principle of access to humanitarian aid for all people and calls on relevant parties to lift embargoes and sanctions restricting medical supplies. Syrians cannot afford the price of imported medicines and it will take years for their domestic pharmaceutical industry to regain the capacity to meet the country´s needs. Health is the underlying basis of a peaceful and productive society. Without health services and medicines, communities cannot prosper nor recover from conflict.

COMBATING TREATABLE DISEASES, SANITATION AND MALNUTRITION

The collapse of Syria´s public health system has limited access to immunization against common illnesses and the lack of sanitation and clean water open the threat to contagion. Previously controlled diseases such as polio, typhoid and dysentery have resurfaced and pose serious threats, especially in rural areas where trained medical staff, medicine and equipment are scarce. Before the war, Syria had a developed public health system and most pharmaceuticals were produced nationally, especially within the outskirts of Aleppo, as was the case with much of Syria´s industrial production. Production also included common supplies such as vitamins, disinfectants and sterilized first aid supplies.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES FOR A TRAUMATIZED SOCIETY

The hidden damage of psychological scars that every Syrian has amounts to a mental health crisis with unpredictable repercussions for the future. International aid organizations have described the mental health of Syrian children as an epidemic of toxic stress disorder due to prolonged exposure to violence. People trapped in the middle of the conflict have experienced endless violence and suffer from severe traumas and post-traumatic stress disorder that can be triggered by their everyday surroundings, preventing people from living ordinary lives. A whole generation of children has known only a life of conflict, yet many adults are similarly suffering from PST and are not always in the best position to guide children towards recovery. A program to train common citizens and teachers in psychological and social services will help create a support network for those most in need.

Europe Peace Foundation will work with its partners on the ground and through diplomatic channels to:
1) Work with governments and pharmaceutical companies to provide generic drugs free of cost to people in need.
2) Distribute first aid to the most vulnerable sectors of the population.
3) Reduce child and maternal mortality and the threat of epidemics through access to health professionals, family planning and sanitation products.
4) Set up health stations equipped with medicines, trained medical staff and an ambulance to serve key affected towns and their surrounding areas.
5) Train teachers, university students and citizens in psychological and social services to deal with and overcome trauma and help the young generations envision a future free of violence.