The challenges and our response
Syria’s civil war is in its eighth year with no end in sight. The conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and has sparked the largest population exodus since World War II, with more than six million displaced inside Syria and five million seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
Millions remain trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where they are at-risk of human rights violations and without even the most basic assistance in what has become the largest and most complex humanitarian catastrophe in our world today.
Health Care: The war has taken a tremendous toll on Syria’s health care system, as hospitals and clinics have been damaged or destroyed and many doctors and nurses have fled the country. Furthermore, many health facilities are left overburdened and unable to deal with the surge in caseloads that result from damage to nearby facilities. International Medical Corps, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), supports health clinics, health posts and mobile medical clinics. These facilities provide vital primary health care services to Syrian families, including care for communicable and non-communicable diseases and reproductive health services, while also helping people get access to more advanced care as needed.
Mental health and psychosocial support: Syrian families have been exposed to extreme levels of violence as a result of the war and have often lost loved ones, livelihoods, and homes. International Medical Corps integrates mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services into its health care services so that people also have the care the emotional and psychological care they need. This includes running mobile MHPSS teams, who visit families in their homes to provide counselling and other services. We also work with local partners to provide psychosocial support activities for conflict-affected children, youth and their families and run a four-month rehabilitation program for children with development delays and disorders.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene: International Medical Corps runs hygiene promotion campaigns in displacement shelters, schools and communities in an effort to prevent disease outbreaks and keep vulnerable families healthy. We also distribute hygiene kits and materials that help people stay clean and healthy.
Emergency relief items: International Medical Corps regularly distributes relief supplies to tens of thousands of people in need. This includes medical aids for people suffering from physical disabilities such as wheelchairs, walkers, air mattresses and toilet chairs as well as hygiene items such as soap, shampoo and diapers.
Protection Services: International Medical Corps is working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in Syria. This includes case management for survivors of GBV as well as running awareness-raising campaigns in displacement shelters and health care clinics. We also train first responders to better respond to child protection and GBV issues in their day-to-day work.
Our impact and work
'Nearly half of my life has been war – I want to go back and rebuild Syria'
Thirteen-year-old Helen Kassmou’s dream is to become an architect so she can go back to rebuild her country after the war
Managing mental health for refugees in Greece: "People need time to mourn"
DAKAR, May 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sam* is a Syrian mental health and psychosocial support trainer for the International Medical Corps in Greece.
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