Islamic Relief South Africa would like to commend the group #OperationSA for reaching their R10 million fundraising target during a live television for Syria appeal on ITV Networks on Tuesday night.

#OperationSA was formed following an escalation in attacks on the besieged city of Aleppo. With the humanitarian crisis reaching boiling point, #OperationSA called on the South African community to join its efforts to raise funds which will be used for humanitarian aid such as food, medical supplies, blankets, mattresses and shelter.

A decision was taken by #OperationSA to distribute the funds collected to credible organisations working on the ground in Syria. Islamic Relief South Africa was identified as one of only six beneficiaries.

Islamic Relief in Syria

Islamic Relief has been responding to the crisis in Syria since 2011, working on the borders to provide people caught up in the violence with essential humanitarian aid. Since 2012, we have been working deep inside the country to reach vulnerable families.
Since the conflict began Islamic Relief has delivered more than $195 million [R270 million] worth of aid inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. Between 2012 and 2015, Islamic Relief assisted more than 11.2 million Syrians.

IR Response to the current crisis:

Islamic Relief staff has been working very hard over the past week to document and monitor the displacement of those fleeing Aleppo and respond to their urgent needs. Our team has managed to reach 4,500 individuals so far. We distributed 438 food parcels, 464 winter kits, 250 mattresses and 99 ready-to-eat meals from the World Food Programme (WFP).

We are distributing food packs, clothes and medical supplies to communities under siege within Syria and displaced people along the Turkish border. We are also running or supporting camps and providing livelihood programmes, education and psychosocial support for refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In Europe our teams are assisting Syrian refugees in Greece, Italy, Macedonia and Germany. Our comprehensive Syria emergency response includes:

  Medical assistance
  Food parcels and World Food Programme vouchers
  Shelter and cash for rent
  Water and sanitation
  Essential items such as baby kits, blankets, clothing and heaters
  Money to help refugee families meet their urgent basic needs
  Livelihoods and education support
  Psychosocial assistance for those displaced by the fighting
  Essential aid and food supplies for Palestinians trapped in Yarmouk camp.

How your donation will help

More than half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their country. During this past week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that more than 20,000 people were evacuated from eastern Aleppo. The majority of the evacuees were children, women and families.

However, increased fighting in Aleppo over the past week is now threatening the very existence of more than 100,000 men, women and children trapped inside the remaining part of Eastern Aleppo, without access to food, water or medical treatment. Many have been forced to hide underground in overcrowded shelters to escape the bombs raining down from the air and the advancement of troops on the ground.

Islamic Relief has joined international calls for all those in power to respect the sanctity of life and allow the safe evacuation of those trapped inside the city – before it’s too late.

Islamic Relief’s team is continuing to risk their own lives to provide life-saving aid to those leaving Aleppo, distributing fresh bread and food parcels to tens of thousands of families in the region, providing medical support and winter survival kits, which include warm clothes and boots to withstand the harsh weather.

Please continue to support our work with the most vulnerable across the whole of Syria Appeal by donating, campaigning and praying for those affected by this conflict.

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