Jordan: Red Cross Red Crescent setting up field hospital to meet the escalating needs of Syrian refugees
Geneva / 29 August 2013 - The crisis in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on the life of all Syrians, including on the hundreds of thousands who have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries. The large influx of refugees from Syria is also exerting increased pressure at the borders of neighbouring countries.
In response to the mounting humanitarian needs, the Red Cross Red Crescent is setting up a field hospital in a new refugee camp near the town of Azraq, about 100 kilometers from Amman and approximately one hour and a half drive from the Syrian border. The field hospital, fully equipped with medical supplies and skilled personnel, is part of a joint Emergency Response Unit (ERU) by the Red Cross Societies of Canada, Finland, Germany, Norway, under the umbrella of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and hosted by the Jordanian Red Crescent Society (JRCS). The initiative is also supported by the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission (ECHO) and the Government of Canada.
The first shipment of medical supplies, equipment and personnel arrived from Finland on Tuesday and the second shipment arrived on Friday. Work has started to make the hospital functional in the coming weeks.
IFRC Under Secretary General for Programme Services, Walter Cotte said: “The humanitarian needs to support the thousands of people who are fleeing Syria are increasing every day. In Jordan, the Red Cross Red Crescent is providing vital health care to thousands of refugees. The services of the field hospital in the Azraq camp will be essential to provide life-saving treatment, vital healthcare and protection to those who are in need, especially women and children.”
The field hospital will include surgical facilities, a maternity unit and a healthcare unit. According to Steve McAndrew, the IFRC head of emergency operations in Jordan, “In the early stages of operation, the hospital will be able to provide treatment to 55,000 people. Once the hospital is fully established, it can serve up to 130,000 people, which is the full capacity of the refugee camp.”
“The Red Cross Red Crescent is committed to maintaining the hospital for at least one year if needed. The ever-increasing number of people fleeing the violence in Syria into neighbouring countries is surpassing previous estimates and requires our urgent action. Greater support and protection are urgently needed to meet their basic needs and rights, and to protect their human dignity,” said Mr Cotte.
Since the beginning of the crisis, more than 1.7 million Syrian people, have fled Syria to find protection in surrounding countries. They are mostly seeking refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.
The IFRC launched an emergency appeal to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. The original appeal of 3.7 million Swiss francs has increased to 27.4 million Swiss francs to support the humanitarian needs of 333,500 people (approximately 66,700 families) in these three countries until the end of December 2013.