SA charity steps up aid in wake of Aleppo tragedy

By Mphathi Nxumalo Time of article published Dec 15, 2016

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Durban - Pietermaritzburg-based Gift of the Givers is upping their aid to war-torn Syria in the wake of what many believe is genocide occurring in the city of Aleppo.

The organisation is doing this despite hospitals and civilians being targeted during the war that has been raging for more than four years in the country.

Some of the challenges the non-governmental organisation faces include a blockade on delivery of food, medicines and water, among other essentials.

Despite these challenges, the organisation is persevering with organising supplies for the expected movement of refugees who are fleeing the fighting in Eastern Aleppo, to the Idlib region, which is a province in the north-west of the country, near Turkey.

The foundation, which has two hospitals, plans to build a third hospital in Darkoush, in Northern Syria, where its relief efforts are ­centred.

This is to help the huge numbers of people who are fleeing the fighting in Aleppo.

The third hospital will be “dedicated to women and children, and an orphanage catering for 600 children, providing care, nutrition, health and educational needs,” said the organisation’s founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman.

The other two hospitals help about 13 000 people a month, he said.

Outside of hospital services, Sooliman said: “We have set up refugee camps, provided tents, blankets, clothes, baby milk powder and food parcels, built a warehouse to stock emergency supplies, have added a mortuary to the hospital, built a feeding centre from where cooked meals are provided daily, and have a cooler room receiving sacrificial meat.”

Helping people does not come cheaply, though.

“We request special assistance for the millions trapped in Syria, and thank all those countries that have welcomed these desperate people to their lands,” said Sooliman.

Contributions can be made to: Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account Number 052278611, Branch Code 057525.

International contributions can be done directly from the payment portal on www.giftofthegivers.org.”

Daily News

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