EMERGENCY funding provided by the Isle of Man is playing a small but important part in helping to alleviate the humanitarian crisis triggered by unrest in Syria.
The Overseas Aid Committee of the Council of Ministers recently donated £10,000 to the British Red Cross to assist the charity’s disaster management operations in the country.
Violence has spread across Syria over the past year, with hundreds of people being killed or injured and tens of thousands more displaced from their homes.
Volunteers acting on behalf of the Red Cross Syria Crisis appeal are working alongside other aid agencies, such as Syrian Arab Red Crescent, to offer life-saving support in the worst affected areas.
They continue to distribute emergency health care, food and relief items to people in need and provide crucial first aid and ambulance services to the wounded and sick.
The Isle of Man’s contribution to the international relief effort has been praised by the organisations working at the front line.
Domitille Quillien, Senior Trust and Statutory Fundraiser at the British Red Cross, said: ‘I wish to thank the Isle of Man Overseas Aid Committee for its generous donation of £10,000 towards the Red Cross Syria Crisis appeal. Your valuable support has allowed us to continue delivering essential aid and relief even under precarious conditions.’
She added: ‘We have dramatically scaled up our response to meet the increasing humanitarian needs, providing medical care and supplies, water, food, blankets, sleeping mats, candles, baby milk and hygiene items, and evacuating wounded people to hospitals. It is only with the support of donors like you that we are able to respond to this humanitarian crisis – we cannot thank you enough.’
Latest statistics indicate that 1.5 million people are now affected by the unrest in Syria, with an increasing number of people being forced towards rural areas where availability of food is a major concern and communications are limited or not functioning.
Phil Gawne MHK, Chairman of the Overseas Aid Committee, said: ‘The British Red Cross and other charities are doing a fantastic job in Syria, often in extremely hazardous circumstances. I am pleased that the Isle of Man’s modest contribution, combined with the efforts of the international community, is helping to make a genuine difference to the victims of the unrest and violence in the country.’