New emergency project in Syria

| Subject: International Cooperation

Distribution of housing kits to 200 returnee families in Aleppo

In efforts to cover the basic needs of those most vulnerable in the Syrian conflict, the Catalan Committee for Refugees and UNHCR Catalonia, with support from the AMB, will offer assistance to 200 Syrian families who have returned to Aleppo from other regions of Syria (internally displaced persons) or neighbouring countries (refugees) in the form of housing kits, which include tools, materials such as doors and windows, sanitation, water and basic electrical items, as well as aid for repair work for those families who need it.

The aim of this project is to guarantee the fundamental rights of all Syrian returnees in Aleppo and defend their basic human rights, with particular emphasis on the right to decent housing. This action is particularly essential in the context of the current COVID-19 crisis, in which access to decent housing represents the primary means of protection against infection. In this regard, the project will contribute to upholding the right to life, protection, health and well-being, as well as international humanitarian law. 

AMB cooperation in Syria

One of the focal points for the AMB's cooperation efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean is Syria, a country in which it has been active since early 2017.

The Syrian conflict is now entering its ninth year, and no political solution has yet been found. Human rights violations continue to take place in a context of growing insecurity, with no regard for international humanitarian law or human rights. Over 12 million people, close to half the Syrian population, have been forced to abandon their homes, thus becoming internally displaced persons or refugees in neighbouring host countries (75 % are women and children). 

Despite the ongoing hostilities, a growing number of internally displaced persons and refugees, along with their families, are expected to return to their places of origin (no longer conflicts areas) in 2020, a movement that first began a few years back. In 2020, 1.5 million internally displaced persons and between 250,000 and 500,000 refugees are expected to organise their return. Many of these families are headed by women, who are in a particularly vulnerable situation.

Upon arriving to their places of origin, they find that the armed conflict has resulted in the large-scale destruction of public and private buildings, with a sizeable portion of the population living in inadequate and poor-quality accommodations. This situation has become worse with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming, in this context, "an emergency on top of an emergency", which may further aggravate the situation facing returnees living in informal settlements or damaged or precarious housing.

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