Contribution to ICRC's Activities in Syria under the ICRC Disability and Mine Action Appeal 2018
The Overall Goal of this Special Appeal is to ensure physical rehabilitation activities for all persons with physical disabilities – including people injured by clashes, mines or Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), other victims of violence and people with physical disabilities even before the conflict/other violence – as well as for initiatives related to mine action.
With an Austrian contribution of EUR 1'000'000, earmarked for the ICRC Disability and Mine Action activities in Syria, the ICRC aims to reach the following results:
a) 192'348 people in communities exposed to mines/ERW (Explosive Remnants of War) will have been sensitized to existing risk and informed as to how to mitigate it.
b) 692 people with disabilities, particularly war victims will have their needs addressed by functioning physical rehabilitation centers .
Target groups of the ICRC appeal under the Special Mine Action and Disability Appeal are: a) people with physical disabilities, particularly victims of the war and weapon contamination, b) communities exposed to weapon contamination risks.
The ICRC works closely with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARC).
The targeted provinces of ICRC include Al-Sweida, Dara’a, Damascus, Homs, Tartus, Hama, Idleb and Aleppo.
Continue to run and staff a physical rehabilitation centre in Aleppo; provide a National Society (i.e. SARC-)-run centre in Damascus with equipment and components for devices, financial assistance for covering operating costs, and staff training; organize a shuttle service for patients staying far from the centre and cover their accommodation costs; conduct information sessions on the services available at these two centres for people with disabilities living in the centres’ catchment area; donate sports wheelchairs to patients of the two supported centres; provide material and financial support for wheelchair basketball teams and for national organizations promoting the social inclusion of people with disabilities; reduce the impact of weapon contamination including interventions to raise awareness of its risks and promote safe behaviour among affected communities, for instance: hold workshops with journalists to broaden the general public's awareness of the hazards of mines and ERW; together with SARC, conduct mine risk education sessions.
In the Syrian Arab Republic, the armed conflict between government forces and numerous armed groups continues, as does fighting among these factions. Government forces and third-party States also continue to carry out and/or support operations against the Islamic State group. Its military operations, combined with ceasefire agreements in certain areas, has enabled the government to regain control over some opposition-held parts of the country. In May, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and Turkey agreed to establish four “de-escalation zones” in key locations; and in July, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, together with Jordan, put in place a ceasefire in the south of the country. These efforts contributed to the reduction of violence in some governorates, although fighting persisted in several areas. The protracted violence continues to cause casualties and widespread destruction of essential facilities. The country’s economy, infrastructure and basic services are deteriorating under the weight of international sanctions. Arrests in connection with the conflict have continued under the authority of the Syrian government. Armed groups are reportedly holding people in relation to the hostilities. Internationally backed peace talks have made little progress in effecting a political solution to the crisis.