Global organization anticipates continued humanitarian crisis as military operations end
Amman, Jordan – With the city of Raqqa in Syria retaken from ISIS, the global organization Mercy Corps warns that the humanitarian crisis will continue for months to come, and it is unlikely that people will return to the city in the near term.
“The end of the battle represents an acute moment of human crisis. Explosive devices and other remnants of war will put families trying to return to their homes in great jeopardy,” says Arnaud Quemin, Mercy Corps Country Director for Syria. “Approximately 80 percent of the city is uninhabitable, water sources have been damaged by the conflict and there are no health services available in the city. Despite the challenges, people are anxious to return home or find more solid shelter before the onset of winter.”
More than 200,000 people were displaced from Raqqa, formerly Syria’s sixth-largest city. Mercy Corps is delivering urgently needed food and supplies to people displaced from Raqqa and surrounding villages, including mattresses, blankets, hygiene supplies, new baby kits and cooking sets.
“During the fighting, we saw hundreds of people flee their homes each day. Mercy Corps’ teams and partners are delivering food and essential supplies, but we’re very concerned about the massive humanitarian needs,” says Quemin. “The military operation may be over, but that doesn’t mean that families are safe now or have a home to go back to.”
In the past year, Mercy Corps met the urgent needs of 950,000 people inside Syria by distributing emergency food and supplies, increasing access to clean water and sanitation, improving shelters and creating safe spaces and activities to help children heal from trauma.
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