Into Tal Shihab, Delivering Food Packages to Daraa Evacuees

Into Tal Shihab, Delivering Food Packages to Daraa Evacuees

ACTNews, TAL SHIHAB, Syria – They were waiting on the border, hoping that the conflict to be over soon, or there will be other opportunities for them once they cross the border into Jordan. In the hilly areas of southern Syria, the region known by the locals as the free zone has been filled with makeshift tents.

Once, before the Syrian conflict erupted, small scale commercial transactions were conducted between Syrians and Jordanians. Currently, this duty free area is converted into a temporary refugee settlement.   

The border holds thousands of refugees from Daraa, a nearby region that has been bombarded by the Syrian government’s warplanes for weeks. The city has to face the same fate as Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta: destroyed by airstrikes and artillery shells.

Based on the data from Global Humanity Response (GHR) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT), since June 2018, no less than 330,000 evacuees have attempted to escape the nightmare they have to face in Daraa. It is, however, not an easy escape.

Instead of opening its border, Jordan decided to close it. “The large number of Syrians we’re hosting in terms of financial resources and infrastructure does not allow for the reception of a new wave of asylum seekers,” said Jumana Ghanimat, a Jordanian minister, as quoted from AFP.

Unable to enter Jordan, to stay on the border is the only option left. In the region of Tal Shihab, the refugees decide to wait for what the future holds for them inside tents made of any material they could find, even sticks and thin mats.

“It is located northwest of Daraa, only 13 kilometers away, around 30-minute-journey from Daraa. ACT partners inside Syria have informed us that farms in Tal Shihab have turned to rows of tents for the evacuees from Daraa,” said Firdaus Guritno of GHR – ACT.

Emergency aid for evacuees in Tal Shihab

To respond to the dire condition in Tal Shihab, GHR-ACT and its partners in Syria have calculated every probability. They are putting the best efforts to deliver emergency aid to the evacuees in makeshift tents in Tal Shihab. “How many evacuees to be reached, what items they need in the makeshift tents, and how their health condition is. Every news from Tal Shihab is sent by ACT partners from inside Syria,” explained Guritno.

Finally, in the first week of July 2018, the distribution of food aid for the evacuees in Daraa started.

“Several food items were prepared, bought from markets and shops in regions around Tal Shihab that are still accessible. In total, as many as 500 packages were prepared for 500 evacuee families in makeshift tents in Tal Shahab,” explained Andi Noor Faradiba, Coordinator of GHR – ACT action team.

Faradiba further explained that the food packages for the evacuees from Daraa contain rice, sugar, tea, cooking oil, pasta and other staple food items.

“We prepared 500 packages for approximately 3,000 evacuees. Insha Allah, each of the package that we provide will be able to support one family for the month to come,” concluded Faradiba. []

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