IOM Distributes Aid to Internally Displaced in Syria, Facilitates Repatriation of Migrant Workers

Posted: 
08/16/12

IOM Damascus has started to distribute non-food aid through NGO
partners to internally displaced families sheltering in four
Damascus schools.

This week it distributed 581 personal hygiene kits at the Fariz
Daboos school, run by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), and at
Somaya Al Makhzomiya school, run by Trust for Development
Organization in cooperation with the Syrian Scouts. Other schools
are Adnan Kolaki and Ghaliyah Farahat both in Barzeh, a scene of
recent fighting.

 

The families living in the schools are from various parts of
Damascus and the majority fled fighting near their homes in the
third week of July. 

The kits include items such as bathing and laundry soap,
toothbrushes, toothpaste, diapers, sanitary pads and razors.

The U.N. estimates that some two and a half million people in
Syria are in need of humanitarian aid and as many as one million
people are internally displaced. Thousands of them have sought
shelter in 330 schools nationwide, according to a recent SARC
survey.

IOM plans to distribute another 1,800 hygiene kits to families
during August, in close collaboration with UN agencies, SARC and
local NGOs including the Syria Trust for Development Organization,
Lamsit Shifa Organization, SOS Children’s Village, Labbaina
Alnidaa Initiative, Sham People Initiative, Orthodox Youth
Association, Basmet Shabab Souria and Asdikaa Alehsan.

Meanwhile IOM Damascus is continuing to help stranded migrant
workers to return home. It has already helped 806 third country
nationals to fly home on commercial flights. Another 269 are booked
and a further 339 are registered.

IOM has received requests from Damascus embassies including
Indonesia, Sudan, Yemen, Ukraine, Belarus, Chile and Egypt to
assist another 3,690 individuals. Other requests have come from
governments without diplomatic missions in Syria, including Sri
Lanka, Ghana, Senegal, Paraguay and Guinea.

IOM has also continued to resettle mainly Iraqi refugees from
Damascus under the United States Refugee Admissions Program
(USRAP.) Since January it has moved 2,696 refugees, mainly to the
USA. Another 362 are booked to fly out in coming weeks.

IOM has agreements with seven airlines currently serving
Damascus, including Royal Jordanian, Emirates and Egypt Air. But
all August flights are now fully booked, limiting the number of
migrant workers able to leave the country.

Many migrants also face problems linked to their legal status in
the country and fees required for broken contracts and exit
permits. Many who want to leave cannot, because recruiting
agencies, employers or government officials have possession of
their passports.

IOM is now working with the embassies of labour-sending
countries, ministries and employers to ensure that vulnerable
migrant workers have the necessary travel documents, and
outstanding debts do not stop them from leaving.

IOM is hosting a 2-day international conference on 13 September
2012 in Geneva to address the problems faced by migrant workers
when conflict breaks out in destination countries.  For more
information on the International Dialogue on Migration, please go
to: "http://www.iom.int/idmmigrantsincrisis" target=
"_blank">www.iom.int/idmmigrantsincrisis

For more information, please contact

Maria Rumman

IOM Damascus

Email: "mailto:mrumman@iom.int">mrumman@iom.int

Tel. +963.933311204