While 1.300 Syrian had to flee to Turkey overnight to escape violent combats, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) today [7 August] said that, according to reports it has received, Syria is experiencing “critical shortages in medicines and pharmaceutical products.”
“This [includes] the provision of ambulances, the refurbishing and equipping of mobile health clinics, and providing medicines and medical supplies for 700,000 people,” Jasarevic said, noting that the Ministry of Health had reported having lost 200 ambulances over the last few weeks.
To ensure access to essential health services – including life-saving medical and surgical services in directly and indirectly affected areas – WHO and its health sector partners are supporting trauma management at primary health care centres and hospitals.
This includes providing support to mobile medical clinics and outreach services, as well as supporting the procurement and provision of hygiene kits, medicines, medical equipment and supplies, among other things.
UN Food for 850,000 People, Prevented
Addressing reporters at the same media encounter in Geneva, a spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Elisabeth Byrs, said that the food relief agency has sent assistance for distribution to 28,000 people in Aleppo over the next few days to address food shortages there.
Since the intensification of clashes in Aleppo in July, WFP has reached close to 46,000 people in the city with urgent food assistance. Overall, during the month of July, WFP’s food assistance reached 541,575 people in most of Syria’s governorates – the agency had aimed to reach 850,000 people, but was prevented from doing so by the violence.
$180 Million Needed to Cover Humanitarian Relief Activities
“Following the recent escalation in Damascus on 18 July, it has become extremely difficult to secure trucks for deliveries and labour for packaging,” Byrs said. “Nevertheless, since that date, WFP has managed to dispatch food to close to 228,000 beneficiaries to Aleppo, Damascus, Rural Damascus, Deir Ezzor, Idlib, Quneitra and Tartous, amid increased challenges.”
In line with the target established by the Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan and following a request from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, WFP aims to reach 850,000 people inside Syria in August.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan seeks $180 million to cover humanitarian relief activities in Syria. So far, it has received $69 million, or just over 38 per cent of the amount sought.