ACTNews, HAMA, Syria – From the city of Aleppo, it takes at least two hours to get to Hama, around 137 kilometers through the inter-city roads. Hama is located at the between Aleppo and Idlib in the north, and Damascus in the south. However, it is almost impossible to travel from Hama to Aleppo nowadays. The Syrian civil war has changed many things.
Like other cities in Syria, Hama has to go through the same chaotic situation. The ongoing conflict between the Syrian government and the opposition forces, with the support of their respective allies, has turned Hama into a battlefield. After years, there has been countless missiles and artillery shells that hit the city.
The pictures and videos by international news agencies show the current condition in Hama. It has become somber, filled with devastations, and looks almost like a ghost city. An aerial video shows the condition of the city. Mosques are damaged; houses are nothing but their pillars and foundations; rubbles are everywhere.
In recent weeks, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) has been in touch with partners in Hama, Syria. They informed us that several corners of the city have turned into refugee settlements for hundreds, even thousands of refugee families.
“They come from various regions in Syria. Most of them are Internally Displaced People (IDP) running from their hometowns like Damascus, Idlib, and Aleppo,” said Andi Noor Faradiba of Global Humanity Response (GHR) – ACT.
Humanity relief rarely enters Hama
Hadeel Yousouf, Coordinator of ACT volunteers in Syria, said that, in recent years, Hama has been the destination for the IDP from various Syrian city. Although the city has been reduced to ruins, Hama is still alive.
“But the condition is difficult. Hama hosts a lot of IDP from Aleppo, Idlib, even Ghouta, but humanitarian relied rarely enters Hama. This city has not caught much attention of humanitarian foundations like Idlib and Aleppo,” said Yousouf.
To respond to this devastating situation, ACT volunteers and their partners in Syria have been dispatched to Hama to refugee pockets in the city. Hundreds of food packages were prepared from a storehouse in Hama. The food supplies were bought from markets that are still running. These food packages are funded by generous donations from the people of Indonesia through Aksi Cepat Tanggap.
“On that day, in mid-July 2018, we prepared approximately 360 staple food packages containing supplies that are enough for one month,” said Yousouf.
Hadeel further stated that the staple food packages contain flour, rice, oil, spices, etc. “Alhamdulillah, 360 packages for hundreds of families, consisting of 2,000 lives, were distributed in a day in a refugee settlement in the suburb of Hama,” she said.
Pictures sent from Hama showed big trucks carrying hundreds of food packages unloaded by dozens of ACT volunteers. The distribution aimed refugees living in makeshift tents, trying to survive in the scorching summer heat.
It is summer in Syria currently. The temperature reaches around 33-35 degree Celcius on average in Hama. The heat of the sun gets through the tents, making the refugees inside suffer even more.
“Insha Allah, the staple food packages sent by the people of Indonesia can alleviate the burden of the refugees in Hama. For a month, they wouldn’t need to spend their money for staple food,” concluded Faradiba.