ACTNews, REYHANLI – The month of Ramadan has ended, but the efforts to support the lives of thousands of Syrians have not stopped. During Ramadan, far away from the festive Ramadan traditions in big cities in Indonesia, a number of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) volunteers were busy working on the Turkey-Syria border.
Their duty is to finish the distribution of the food packages supplied by ACT’s Indonesia Humanitarian Center (IHC).
Bambang Triyono, Director of ACT’s Global Humanity Response (GHR) stated that, until late June, approximately 5,000 food packages have been completely distributed to refugee pockets both inside Syria and along the Syria-Turkey border. These food packages were coming from IHC, an aid distribution center for the Syrian refugees initiated by ACT in Reyhanli, a small city on the Turkey-Syria border.
Firdaus Guritno, Coordinator of IHC, explained that these food packages were distributed along with the distribution of the 1,000 tons of rice from Humanitarian Ship for Syria.
“After the ship arrived at the port of Assan in Turkey on Monday (5/22), half of the total amount of rice, 500 tons, was distributed directly to the Syrian refugees alongside food packages from IHC,” explained Guritno.
In mid-Ramadan, Guritno told us that the convoy of the containers went through the Cilvegozu border gate in Turkey to the city of Idlib in Syria.
“From Cilvegozu, 1,500 food packages were transported to three distribution points. The refugee pockets that we visited are located in Aleppo, Hama and the biggest one in Idlib,” Guritno added.
Adopting the distribution center system
Finishing the distribution of the food packages for the Syrian refugees in Ramadan would not be easy if it wasn’t for the procurement and distribution system adopted by the IHC.
Since its first inception, IHC was designed systematically and professionally in the form of a massive storehouse that serves as an integrated distribution center for the Syrian refugees. The location was strategically chosen on the Turkey-Syria border.
“The IHC was designed by ACT, and officially opened on March 16th 2018. IHC serves as the manifestation not only of Indonesians’ immense sense of philanthropy, but also ACT’s professionalism in distributing thousands of packages of humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees,” said Guritno in Reyhanli, Turkey.
Unlike other storehouses, IHC’s operation adopted the distribution center system that facilitates the data collection of the input and output of the goods.
“We collaborated with PT Hydro as our partner in building the System to make our distribution fully computerized. Even the names of beneficiaries and the amount they receive are recorded in details every day,” said Guritno.
He further explained that in order to maintain the quality of the goods in IHC, a number of measures needs to be done in accordance with its proper order.
“Firstly, the team collects the data on the goods, especially those which nears their expiration date, so that we do not distribute the goods that are almost expired. Secondly, we separate the containers of food from non-food items, and separate solid from liquid goods,” he explained.
To operate the IHC in such complex system, ACT volunteers along the Turkey-Syria border involve tens of of local Syrian volunteers.
“The ACT volunteers from Indonesia and Syria work together to operate IHC professionally from the provision to the distribution of the goods. Our funding system works systematically and is fully computerized. The packing process is done with the help from our Syrian brothers whom we also involve in IHC storehouse,” added Firdaus.
In long term, through the IHC, ACT is committed to support the Syrian refugees each month. The distribution of these food packages will be done each month in accordance with the schedule.
“Both in Syrian territories, such as Idlib, and on the Turkey-Syria border, the distribution of the food packages will continue. Moreover, IHC also has the free bread distribution program which distributed 2,400 loaves of bread to the Syrian refugees,” concluded Guritno.