Mass Syrian Exodus Creating Humanitarian Catastrophe, Says Irish Red Cross Chief

Home News And Events Mass Syrian Exodus Creating Humanitarian Catastrophe, Says Irish Red Cross Chief

Speaking from the Zaatri Refugee Camp on Jordans border with Syria, Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, Donal Forde is stressing the need for continued support for families forced from their homes and country by the ongoing conflict in Syria.

“The scale of the human tragedy has grown to catastrophic proportions”.  Estimates put the number of internally displaced people between 2 and 3 million with a further million having fled the country and crossed Syria’s borders into Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

Approximately 300,000 refugees have crossed the border from Syria into Jordan, “More than 10,000 have fled here in the last week alone.  The continued flow of people into the country is creating enormous strains both within the camps that have been set up to receive them and on the communities that are endeavouring to support them”, said Forde.

 “Behind the statistics there are endless stories of personal tragedy, loss, hardship, grief and despair. I was struck that many have arrived with only what they could carry.  They are struggling to cope with the immediate challenges of finding medical assistance for the injured and food and shelter for their families.  But above all the people I spoke with are struggling to come to terms with the uncertainty of what future they face.  Will they be able to return home?  When might this be possible? And if so to what?”

Along with other humanitarian agencies, Red Cross Red Crescent teams are actively responding to the constant flow of refugees entering the country.  But much more is needed.  The Irish Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal continues to support those affected by the conflict both in Syria and in neighbouring countries.

“We are very grateful for the generous support we have received to date. But the need here is enormous and we continue to appeal to the Irish public for further help and support.”

For further information or to arrange an interview with Donal Forde, Irish Red Cross Secretary General contact:
Rebecca Dunne, Communications Executive, Irish Red Cross - 087 743 3275 /
Ronan Ryan, Head of Fundraising and Communications, Irish Red Cross - 087 136 7510 /
Caroline Reid, Communications Intern, Irish Red Cross - 01 642 4628

Photo:Irish Red Cross Secretary General, Donal Forde, meets with medical staff at a Red Cross - Red Crescent field hospital in  Mafraq, Jordan, where injured and sick Syrian refugees are being treated. Kenneth O'Halloran, Irish Red Cross