What You Need to Know
Over 13 million people are currently in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. Nearly half of them are children. The ongoing conflict between government forces, opposition groups, the so-called Islamic State, and various armed militias, has caused the biggest displacement crisis in the world. Each day, in average, more than 6,000 new people are forced from their home. Over 11 million people are in need of health assistance.
The Syrian government and Russia are stepping up their deadly campaign against the besieged area of Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus. The situation is catastrophic: almost 400,000 people are trapped there and routinely face airstrikes. In one week, at least 500 civilians have been killed and 3,000 wounded. There has been direct targeting of ambulances and medical facilities. People have severely limited access to food & medicines, and several children have already died of malnutrition.Donate Next
Emerging from Ottoman rule, modern Syria was established after the First World War as a French mandate. Resistance to the French led to independence in 1946, ushering in a long period of political instability. In 1970, Hafiz Al-Asad seized power in a bloodless coup and ruled until his death in 2000.Donate
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
Our in-depth investigation has revealed that SAMS is one of the most active and responsive healthcare charities in Syria.
Primarily run by Syrian nationals, best placed to understand and respond to this complex crisis, SAMS’ exceptionally wide reach allows them to assist people in hard-to-access areas. SAMS provided more than 2.6 million medical services last year. Members of the iguacu network specifically commended the quality of SAMS’ emergency and trauma care, sensitivity to gender-based violence issues and support for displaced people in camps.
EMERGENCY HEALTHCARE SERVICES
In 2016 amidst violent conflict, SAMS-supported facilities provided over 900,000 intensive care services to critically sick and severely injured civilians.
SAMS supports 60 facilities across Syria that provides primary healthcare for local populations. In 2016, SAMS also participated in 7 vaccination campaigns for childhood diseases.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND EQUIPMENT
Last year, SAMS supported 53 ambulances to transport the injured to receive lifesaving treatment. SAMS also helps rebuild and fortify health facilities under attack, including underground structures.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT AND COUNSELLING
To address the massive psychological and mental health impact of the war, SAMS provided nearly 36,000 psycho-social care services in 2016.
In 2016, the 66 SAMS reproductive health facilities delivered nearly 40,000 babies in constrained and dangerous conditions.
SELFLESSNESS AND BRAVERY
In Syria, healthcare facilities are subject to systematic and targeted attacks. Since 2015, 42 SAMS medical workers have lost their lives.
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Syria In Depth
In 2011, influenced by the Arab uprisings’ demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt, many young and rural Syrians took to the street in pro-democracy demonstrations, asking for reforms before calling on President Assad to step down. The violent crack-down on protesters led to an increasing number of protesters taking up arms. The fighting quickly escalated to a violent civil war.
The causes of the current conflict in Syria are diverse. One of the main concerns was the marginalization of large areas of the countryside due to government economic policy changes. Over time, the conflict has also developed a strong sectarian dimension.
Want to know more about the people, culture and history of Syria? Click below to download our in-depth report.Download Report
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