As the violence continues throughout Syria, thousands of people continue to flee their homes looking for a safer area inside the country and across the borders in neighbouring countries.
19 months on, the conflict has affected more than 3 million people who have taken shelter in public buildings and parks, or who have found a place to stay with host families.
However, as winter approaches in a region where temperature can drop below freezing; concern is growing for those affected by the conflict. The ongoing violence, and its effect on preparations for winter requirements, has caused a rapid increase in the humanitarian needs both in Syria and in neighbouring countries.
Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) continues its emergency response efforts responding to the needs of more than a million people each month, with staff and volunteers from the organization continuing to work under extremely difficult circumstances.
SARC and the National Societies in neighbouring countries are requesting more support to protect the people from the hardship of freezing weather. Volunteers have already begun to distribute childrens clothing and blankets in cooperation with local NGOs. From the beginning of October a total of 34,546 blankets and 20,000 mattresses have been distributed in Aleppo alone.
With the distributions plans being prepared for the period between November 2012 and January 2012, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will provide support with winter blankets, mattresses and tarpaulins for distribution in shelters and elsewhere.
The Jordan National Red Crescent Society is also preparing for the distribution of 25,000 winter blankets to Syrian refugees in Jordan with support from the IFRC.
Åsa Erika Jansson, IFRC country representative in Syria, said the cold weather was already having an impact and it was important to be prepared. ”Last year, the snow came in December. We are working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to deliver as much as we can, including blankets, mats, tarpaulins and other items. The winter will not wait.”
Millions of Syrians are suffering everyday from the continuing violence, and many are in urgent need to be prepared and equipped to face the approaching winter.