People in Need Has Organized Collection for Victims of the Syrian conflict; It already Provides Doctors with Medical SuppliesPublished: Apr 11, 2012 Reading time: 5 minutes
Prague, 11 April 2012 – People in Need has started collecting donations that will be used to promote a clandestine network of doctors in Syria, help war refugees and in the future also for supporting projects aimed at the reconstruction of the country. At the moment, the aid is focused on a direct emergency relief to the wounded, and to those who had to flee their homes from the fighting. Join in and contribute to the charity collection for Syria.
Aid can be sent directly to SOS Syria charity account:
Account Number: 92329232 / 0300 CZK
Account Name: CLOVEK V TISNI, O.P.S.
IBAN: CZ17 0300 0000 0000 9232 9232
BIC (SWIFT): CEKOCZPP
People in Need has been helping the clandestine network of Syrian doctors since February, 59 medical personnel have already died, 556 of them have been captured. Several doctors have succumbed to the consequences of torture. “In the current situation, the delivery of humanitarian aid is extremely risky, so medical materials as well as other assistance has to be smuggled across the borders,” Šimon Pánek, People in Need’s CEO, said. “Not only the wounded, but also the people trying to provide them with care, are subjected to persecution of the regime. The doctors we are assisting lack basic equipment and they often treat patients in the homes, garages or even outdoors,” Pánek adds.
“We still have a problem to supply medical equipment to the cities of Hama, Homs and Idlib. However, we are trying to take alternative ways even though it is very dangerous,” a representative of the clandestine network of Syrian doctors Doctors Coordinate of Damascus, which People in Need cooperates with, said.
People in Need will use the collection funds for buying medical equipment and creating conditions that will enable the doctors to perform also less extensive surgeries. Those can often save the lives of the wounded. Further means will be used to help war refugees, whose number, according to the UNHCR sources, amounts to over 40,000 people, up to 10,000 others have not been registered yet. Tens of thousands inhabitants have left Syria since the uprising began; they flee mostly to the neighbouring countries – Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan.
Until today, People in Need has bought 20 field sets that include small surgical set with oxygen mask and storing tank, pulse oximeter, stretcher, tracheal tube, disinfection, surgical suture, hypodermic needles and needful drugs while being funded by People in Need Club of Friends relief fund. In addition, there have been were equipped two operating theatres in the field hospitals, which are used by doctors for more complicated surgical operations utilizing special devices for thoracic injuries and different lacerations.
The sets and other medical materials have been distributed amongst more than 30 teams of doctors working in the suburbs of Damascus, Homs, Daraa, Idlib and Deir ez-Zor, who use these to treat the people injured during the protests.
Humanitarian crisis in Syria
According to the UN, over 9,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict, which has been raging on for more than a year. However, there are not any indications that the situation would improve. Although Damascus agreed with a six-point peace plan proposed by the League of Arab States and the UN, according to which the Syrian troops should have withdrawn from the cities by Tuesday, on Monday it conditioned its compliance by written guarantees demanding the opposition’s ceasefire and by the pledge of the involved countries not to provide the rebels with weapons and finance.
However, the rebels did not accede to these demands and the fights continue. The Syrian cabinet has not fulfilled any single point of the peace plan, where it committed itself, among other things, to securing conditions for humanitarian aid provision and everyday two-hour truce.
“In our opinion, it seems that rather a plan of killing has been proposed, hence the number of the dead keeps increasing. Fifty-nine members of our medical team are dead now and other 556 of them have been detained,” a representative of the Doctors Coordinate of Damascus said to People in Need, noting that the doctors in the conflict do respect independence and professionalism. “While at work, our oath does not allow us to adhere to any political persuasions,” the doctor explained.
Even children are dragged into the conflict
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has exposed systematic detaining and torturing of children. “They have started exploiting children for various purposes. Hundreds have been seized and tortured – it is atrocious. The children are shot in their knees, they are held with adults in inhumane conditions, denied medical treatment or they are took hostage and as a source of information,” as Pillay disclosed in an interview for BBC TV.
According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, the violence is being committed also by the representatives of the opposition groups. It involves abductions, detaining and torturing of both the security forces and the supporters of the current government. “The civil war, which has virtually erupted here, cannot be imagined without acts of cruelty on both sides”. The best what we can do in the current situation, is to help doctors, who by the Hippocrates oath treat the injured regardless their party membership,” Pánek says.
For further information please contact:
Šimon Pánek, PIN Chief Executive Officer
tel. +420 777 787 913
Marek Svoboda, PIN Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Director
tel. +420 724 122 111