COVID-19 (update April 2020)
A crisis within a crisis. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Un Ponte Per has been adapting existing projects and launching new ones to contain the virus in North-East Syria.
The situation here is extremely precarious following the Turkish military attack in Octobre 2019. It is estimated that the invasion created 70,000 IDPs, and only 1 fully functioning hospital of the 16 in the area.
The protection of the most vulnerable people is now our primary goal.
More than half the hospitals in Syria (84 of which have been bombed since December, according to WHO) were destroyed in 9 years of war. The country has been in lockdown since 13th March, but our clinics are fully equipped and open, although they are not receiving many patients due to fear of infection.
The biggest concern is the camps, where overcrowding could trigger a a very fast rate of infection.
Un Ponte Per, together with partner organisations including the Kurdish Red Crescent, is setting up special Cover wards in 3 hospitals, equipped with 18 intensive care beds, 42 sub-intensive care beds and a triage system run by specially trained medical teams.
Luca Cafagna, UPP Operations Manager in North East Syria
Hamdo Ahmed, UPP Local Medical Advisor in North East Syria
Once again the Syrian people are under attack and forced to flee, after having already fled their homes at least once during these 9 years of conflict.
People in refugee camps are more than 70.000.
“The entire health care system we have worked on, now is at risk of collapsing. We must be aware of one thing: the priority of the population is to find a safe shelter. There are still thousands of people living far from their homes, almost 10% of the entire population.
The lack of safe shelters creates a problem especially at a health care level, but not only. Suffice it to say that 70% of the schools are currently occupied by displaced people. That means that children haven’t been in schools for months”, explains Pedro, UPP doctor.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
We work to support the humanitarian emergency response providing the delivery of humanitarian aid: medicines, tents, blankets for the winter, and hygiene kits for displaced people. We keep on providing protection to the victim of gender based violence as we’ve been doing for years. Such as the creation of field medical facilities to ensure reproductive healthcare to displaced women.
The fourth day from the beginning of the Turkish attack in North-East Syria, the Turkish air force bombed the healthcare facility in Serekanyie/Ras Al Ain. Two doctors were injured and our ambulances were damaged.
Attacking the medical structures, medical health staff, humanitarian workers is such a serious violation of the Geneva Convention and an unacceptable action.
Despite the challenges, local staff are still working.
“Now it is the time to become more sensitive about the priorities: we’ve decided to work in 6 camps for displaced people, basing our work on their needs. We take decisions along with the community. Our colleagues from the Kurdish Red Crescent and our local staff never gave up. Not even for a moment. Surely, we can’t do that”, explains Pedro, UPP doctor.
Your donations are more important than ever to help the Syrian population.
We can’t abandon these people.
IBAN: IT 09 T 05018 03200 0000 11007903 - Account name: Un Ponte Per