Healthcare in northeast Syria

A new EU-funded emergency plan is underway, designed to facilitate the Kurdish Red Crescent (KRC) in the provision of lifesaving healthcare to civilian war victims fleeing Raqqa and the population of northeast Syria.

The first phase was launched in July 2017 immediately after the fight for the liberation of Raqqa, guaranteeing 10 months of lifesaving healthcare for thousands of injured civilians trapped inside Daesh’s stronghold, through direct support of the healthcare system in the northeast of the country.

This was the goal of this lifesaving healthcare project, which covered costs for 15 ambulances staffed by expert doctors and local health workers, 2 Trauma Stabilisation Points (TSPs) on the outskirts of Raqqa for immediate treatment to increase chances of survival before transfer to nearby hospitals, and 2 emergency first aid Centres between Raqqa and Areesha refugee camp.

Throughout the fighting, civilians trapped in Raqqa could not access any healthcare, as the few existing health services could not be reached from the frontline.

This initiative by Un Ponte Per…. (UPP) and the Kurdish Red Crescent (KRC) permitted ambulances and expert medical teams to get closer to the frontline and to transport the most seriously injured people to the nearest Trauma Stabilization Points.

This ensured better use of  the so-called “Golden Hour” - the period of time within which serious injuries must be treated and stabilised for the best chance of survival, before patient transferal  to hospitals in the north of the country.

The project has undergone monthly reviews and adaptation to ensure the best possible response to the needs of the civilian population, given the fluidity of the situation. Meanwhile health workers on the frontline have been trained in Psychological first aid (PFA) techniques, handling civilian victims in war zones and decontamination techniques in chemical warfare, as well as dealing with minefields.

The first phase was completed in March and facilitated healthcare access to more than 103,000 people.

In the second phase, from April to December, the project was expanded to include Governorates of Hasakeh and Deir er Zor, with the goal of providing lifesaving healthcare to 110,000 people. This was achieved by strengthening the Emergency Primary Healthcare Centres (EPCCs) and increasing the number of mobile healthcare units - for reaching the most remote areas - to 21.

Work is also continuing on training  local health workers and project staff on lifesaving procedures and the treating trauma, as well as protocols for primary healthcare, monitoring and administration. A key element of the training project is methods for the identification and protection of victims of abuse, violence and discrimination, and the development of dedicated support services.

This emergency project is part of the massive programme in the north east of Syria launched by  UPP in 2015, with direct support of the KRC and its health centres through training provided for its specialised healthcare staff.


Project Name: Life-saving health assistance to the population in Northeast Syria

Project Type: Healthcare

Beneficiaries: Civilian population of Northeast Syria

Length: July 2017 - December 2018

Project Areas: Governorates of Raqqa, Hasekeh and Deir er Zor, northeast Syria

Local Partners: Kurdish Red Crescent (Heyva Sor a Kurd)

Donors: European funds, private donations