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    Posted December 10, 2012 by
    sarasota, Florida

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    ShelterBox Update: Syria refugee crisis ShelterBox in Jordan, Turkey, Iraq Kurdistan and Lebanon

    Hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians are displaced from their homes due to unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic that has been mounting since March 2011.

    To date, over 411,000 people are estimated by the United Nations to have fled to neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon, putting an increasing strain on the governments and host communities. Up to two million are displaced within Syria itself. Numbers are not going to ease.

    ShelterBox has partnered with Solidarités International, a humanitarian organization that provides aid and assistance to survivors of war or natural disaster, to bring ShelterBox aid to internally displaced families in Syria living along Turkey's border.

    A truck is en route to the affected area packed with ShelterBox kit including blankets, groundsheets, sets of hats, gloves and scarfs, water carriers, stoves and fuel bottles, as requested by Solidarités International. They stressed the urgency of the need for this winterized aid as families are becoming desperate with cold, wet winter conditions approaching.

    "Some people are living in basic, cold concrete structures, others in tents. Neither are winterized and therefore have inadequate insulation,"said a representative from Solidarités International. "Many do not have proper cooking equipment either."

    Due to security concerns at the Turkey/Syria border, ShelterBox is not sending a response team but Solidarités International will distribute the aid through their program, not only keeping Syrian families warm and dry but also enabling them to live with dignity.

    Support To Life is assisting with customs and logistics, a humanitarian agency that works with disaster-stricken communities to help them meet their basic needs and rights which ShelterBox collaborated with in response to the earthquake in Turkey in 2011.

    Meanwhile in Jordan, there are 448 ShelterBoxes prepositioned with the Jordanian Red Crescent. A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has returned to the capital, Amman, to explore various areas where the aid would be used most effectively.

    "We are meeting with our contacts here to see whether its best to set up camps with ShelterBox tents or distribute aid through our partners in urban areas where many Syrian refugees are living with families," said SRT member, Sallie Buck (UK). "It's getting cold so blankets and groundsheets are essential to families living here."

    Like Jordan, Lebanon is not readily accepting shelter aid therefore ShelterBox has been looking at supplying other lifesaving equipment and school stationary to those in need in the north through local humanitarian agencies.

    ShelterBox has brought winterized shelter to 500 families in Iraq Kurdistan at Domiz refugee camp, with thermal tent liners, blankets and groundsheets that insulate the heat, sets of hats, gloves and scarfs, water filters and solar lights. As temperatures drop to subzero in the coming months, these families will be safe, warm and protected from the harsh elements.

    As conflict continues in Syria, ShelterBox continues to research into suitable avenues to respond to help families in need in the Middle East.

    Since 2000, ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth and dignity following more than 200 disasters in over 85 countries. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. Each iconic green ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, stove, blankets and water filtration system, among other tools for survival. ShelterBox’s American affiliate, ShelterBox USA is headquartered in Sarasota, Fla. Individual tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made at www.shelterboxusa.org, 941- 907-6036, or via text message by sending SHELTER to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation.
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