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Syria Humanitarian Fund provides health services for families

18 Sep 2019


Nahed and her son, Louai, receive health-care services in a centre supported by the Syria Humanitarian Fund. Credit:?OCHA/Basma Ourfali

It is early morning when Nahed and her son Louai arrive at the health centre in Breiqa village, west of Quneitra Governorate in Syria. “We walked for an hour to reach the clinic,” says Nahed.

The pregnant mother and her son, who is 10 years old, came on foot from their home village, Rasem Al-Halabi, where there are no health facilities. After an examination, the paediatrician prescribes medicines and vitamins for Louai to recover from a respiratory infection. “I can’t afford to pay for private clinics,” says Nahed. “I don’t know what would happen to us if this health centre wasn’t here.”

OCHA estimates the current population of Quneitra Governorate at 105,000 people, compared with 90,000 before the crisis. Towards the end of 2014 and throughout the first half of 2015, non-State armed groups (NSAGs) gained control of significant areas of Dar’a and Quneitra, leading to the displacement of thousands. Local and displaced families have also experienced severe deprivation due to restrictions on their freedom of movement, as well as limited access to humanitarian assistance and essential services. By mid-August 2018, the Government of Syria had regained control of areas in Quneitra, Dar’a and As-Sweida previously held by NSAGs and ISIL.?

Displacement, depletion of financial resources, decimated infrastructure and lack of essential services have added to the daily struggles of families.

The?Syria Humanitarian Fund?(SHF), through its implementing partner the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and in sub-partnership with the Circassian Charity Association, supports a project in Quneitra that reaches more than 19,000 children and mothers with life-saving health-care services. According to the?latest Humanitarian Needs Overview for Syria, some 85,000 people in Quneitra Governate alone are estimated to need health assistance. The Breiqa health centre, where Nahed has taken her son, includes paediatric and gynaecology clinics and provides free consultations, treatment and medicines.

So far this year, the SHF has allocated US$15.8 million to UN agencies and national and international NGOs to implement much-needed projects across Syria. In addition, a $25 million standard allocation is under process to respond to life-saving needs in the south of the country, mainly in Quneitra, Dar’a and Rural Damascus.

Sham (left), 8, and Joud (right), 9, during a medical consultation in a mobile clinic supported by the Syria Humanitarian Fund. Credit:?OCHA/Basma Ourfali

About 25 km away from Breiqa village is Khan Arnabeh town, which hosts about 25,000 people. There, like in Breiqa, the?situation of families is deteriorating, more than nine years into the Syria crisis. To respond to needs, the SHF provided funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) and its local sub-partner, the NGO Syria Pulse, to support a mobile clinic that provides health services for children and mothers in the town.

Sisters Sham, 8, and Joud, 9, have come with their mother to the paediatrician in the mobile clinic in Khan Arnabeh. “My daughters suffer from loss of appetite, cold and fever,” says their mother, Khawla. Four years ago, Khawla?and her family fled the violence in their hometown, Deir-ez-Zor. “We never returned because we were told that our house was completely destroyed,” says Khawla.

Sham and Joud are among some 34,000 people who will receive free medical treatment, as well as consultations and health care, provided by WHO and funded by the SHF through fixed centres and mobile clinics in Quneitra.