Empowering women plays a key role in Syria humanitarian response
As Ireland continues it's journey to full gender equality, it's vitally important we show solidarity with people who are furthest behind around the world – especially Syria.
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Since the first protests erupted in the city of Deraa in March 2011, devastation has swept across Syria. More than 220,000 people have died. Over seven million have been displaced inside the country and almost four million people have fled to neighbouring countries, including Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
As the conflict enters its fifth year, the situation in Syria deteriorates on a daily basis. There are shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medical care. In some areas people only have access to one or two litres of water a day and there are reports of an increase in malnutrition due to a lack of food.
Inside Syria we continue to provide access to clean water for 130,000 people by rehabilitating existing water networks. We have also provided 23,700 people with hygiene kits containing soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, nail clippers, hair combs, personal hygiene items and nappies. The kits are intended to support a family of six people for approximately one month.
We have also been providing food and supplies to help people cope with the cold weather that spread across the region.
In neighbouring Lebanon and Turkey we are making sure refugees have shelter, as well as access to safe, clean water. Around 80% of school aged Syrian refugees are not in school, so we are also providing education to refugee children in Turkey and Lebanon. The longer the conflict continues, the higher the risk that children will miss out on their right to an education.
Finally we are implementing programmes to reduce tensions between the Lebanese host population and Syrian refugees. As Lebanon continues to see rising numbers of refugees enter the country various tensions are brewing between the two communities. For example issues such as increased prices of rent due to the additional demand, reduced quantity of available resources, such as water, and differences in culture are some of the areas that have been identified. Concern has been working to bring the two communities together through programmes like our Youth Leadership Clubs where Syrian and Lebanese children are brought together through sports and activities.
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