After 8 years of conflict, 11.7 million Syrians, 70% of the population, are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Access to basic services (health, food, clean water, shelter, etc.) remains an absolute priority, while the country's contamination with explosive remnants - unprecedented in the history of mine clearance - prevents the return of populations and will considerably complicate the country's reconstruction. For the past 7 years, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has been assisting Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon through physical rehabilitation and psychosocial projects. This year, HI will continue its life changing work thanks to the support from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
“We are very grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their amazing support which will have an incredible impact on the lives of refugees and people in host communities” says Aleema Shivji, Executive director of Humanity & Inclusion UK.
In eight years of war, massive bombardments in populated areas have had terrible humanitarian consequences: families torn apart, serious and disabling injuries, heavy psychological trauma, forced displacements, impoverishment of the populations and destruction of essential infrastructures (hospitals, ports, bridges).... Syrians are in a dire situation and will need humanitarian aid for many years to come. The country's infrastructures are being destroyed, making access to basic services such as health care a top priority for humanitarian organisations.
HI is working in Jordan and Lebanon with people impacted by the conflict who have lost everything and need humanitarian aid to survive. Every day HI teams witness the suffering and trauma of the Syrianrefugees; victims of a conflict marked by the massive and repeated use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
People’s Postcode Lottery players will support rehabilitation projects that are a vital part on the journey towards greater mobility and independence. For injured people physical rehabilitation can be the difference between recovering from injury or that injury becoming a permanent disability. Thanks to players HI will continue to provide psychological support for children and adults living with trauma and risk education about unexploded bombs that families might find on their return home.
Sanjay Singh, International Development Senior Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “The bombing of civilians in Syria and anywhere in the world is a tragedy and those innocent people caught up as victims in conflict are desperate for help and support. The significant funding award from Postcode Global Trust supports HI to give vital assistance to the most vulnerable through rehabilitation, psychological support and war risk education. I am proud to be supporting the charity’s efforts to alleviate the extreme trauma and suffering of those affected.”
According to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), nearly 80,000 people were killed or injured by explosive weapons between 2011 and 2018. 87% of them were civilians.
The intensive use of explosive weapons in populated areas has destroyed the country's essential infrastructure and economy: 80% of Syrians currently live below the poverty line. Continued attacks on medical facilities have significantly reduced the delivery of health services while the number of people with medical needs, due to conflict-related injuries or recent disabilities, has increased.
The bombings also leave a deadly legacy as more than 10 million people are exposed to the risks posed by explosive remnants of war, according to organisations involved in mine action in Syria. These figures are certainly underreported due to difficulties accessing many areas - the true extent of the contamination remains unknown.
Contamination with explosive remnants of war is one of the main obstacles preventing the return of refugees and displaced persons, according to an investigation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees published in July 2018. It will also be a major obstacle to the reconstruction of the country, and to the redevelopment of its economic and social fabric.
Interviews available upon request with HI's spokespersons
Marlene Manning, Humanity & Inclusion UK
Tel: +44 (0)870 774 3737
About Humanity & Inclusion
Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is a charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.
For the past 30 years, HI has been campaigning against anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs, with projects ranging from bomb clearance, risk education to teach civilians about the dangers of these weapons and victim assistance. This led to the signing of the Ottawa mine ban convention (1997) and the Oslo convention on cluster munitions (2008). HI is one of six founding organisations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and co-founder of the Cluster Munition Coalition.
Humanity & Inclusion is the new name of Handicap International.