Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 14:34 GMT

Syria: humanitarian situation deteriorates

Publisher International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Publication Date 28 September 2012
Cite as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Syria: humanitarian situation deteriorates, 28 September 2012, available at: [accessed 19 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The humanitarian situation in Syria deteriorated rapidly during September amid continuing violence. Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Deir Ez-Zor and Rural Damascus are worst hit. Fighting has displaced tens of thousands, and many who had already left home have had to move again. The ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have distributed food and other aid to over 200,000 people.

Marianne Gasser heads the ICRC's Syria delegation. "As the conflict has intensified, so have people's needs. And the situation was critical even before," she explained. "A lot of infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, making it even harder for people to find the things they need in order to survive. In particular, people are unable to obtain medical care, either because of the volatile and dangerous situation or because medical supplies are scarce."

With winter approaching, the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) have distributed blankets to over 30,000 people, mainly those who have had to flee their homes. "We know that the arrival of cold weather will mean even greater suffering for people fleeing the violence," said Ms Gasser. "Despite the tense situation, we are doing all we can to help."

Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has worked with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to provided food for over a million people and essential household items to a quarter of a million. Over the same period, the ICRC and SARC have helped provide water for over a million people in the governorates of Damascus, Rural Damascus and Homs.

What the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been doing


Since the beginning of September, the two organizations have distributed over 40,000 monthly food parcels to over 200,000 people in the governorates of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Idleb, Homs, Hama, Deir Ez-Zor, Latakia, Aleppo, Raqqa, Tartus and Sweyda, plus household materials and other essential items such as mattresses, towels, hygiene kits and blankets.

Water, sanitation and shelter

  • The ICRC and the SARC have repaired and improved water, sanitation and accommodation for over 21,000 people in six public buildings in Damascus, 30 in Homs and 60 in Aleppo.
  • The ICRC has provided drinking water for thousands of families who have taken shelter in schools, other public buildings and in host communities, in the governorates of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Deir Ez-Zor, Homs and Aleppo.
  • The ICRC has been helping SARC branches truck water to 65,000 displaced persons in Rural Damascus and 15,000 residents of Deir Ez-Zor, to help them cope with water shortages.
  • The ICRC has installed a new 2,000-kilowatt backup generator at Ain Al-Tanour Water Pumping Station in the city of Homs. The generator will ensure a reliable water supply for over a million people in the city.


  • The ICRC assessed the situation at two Damascus hospitals – Ibn Al Nafeez and Al-Mujtahed – in order to gain a clearer picture of health needs.
  • Syrian Arab Red Crescent first-aid teams visited Daraya (Rural Damascus) in order to provide medical care.
  • Syrian Arab Red Crescent Hospitals in Homs and Idlib received deliveries of surgical instruments

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