Syria: it’s getting tougher to get out
By Hedinn Halldorsson, Emergency Communication Manager
“We came here to be able to go back.”
“When I woke up, there were soldiers in my bedroom.”
“We had to leave my sister’s wheelchair behind when we escaped.”
“How am I supposed to pay my rent and put food on the table for my children?”
“I used to go to school, but I don’t do that anymore.”
These are the voices that echo in my head.
Stories of hardship
I’ve been at the Syrian border for two days now and all the Syrians tell the same story of hardship and suffering.
I’ve met women and children that escaped the violence in their home country.
Some have been here for months, others have just arrived: people that ran for their lives and left everything behind.
In one of Save the Children’s child-friendly spaces, we get the chance to meet a group of women. Nearly all of them have lost relatives in the past months.
Families have been separated, and in many cases they don’t know about the whereabouts of their loved ones. And these are the lucky ones because they got out.
Please help us respond to this crisis
At the Save the Children centres, people can express their feelings freely, get support and possibly hear some news from across the border.
The general feeling I sense is anger.
And I also sense pessimism. No one talks of the peace plan.
Six-year-old Qassim comes from a Syrian town just across the border and tells me about his escape.
He was inside his house when it was burnt down eight days ago, and was later bulldozed. No child should ever have to endure what Qassim has.
He’s now in safely in a Jordanian border town with his mother and seven siblings.
Danger at the border
It’s getting tougher to get out of Syria. We keep hearing reports that Syrians have been shot at while trying to cross the border. Some areas have been mined.
We’re distributing flyers on the Syrian side of the border with information on mines and unexploded ordnance. At the same time, the number of those crossing illegally to Jordan is rising drastically.
Women and children are the majority of those that have fled. The men stay behind in Syria. For them, it’s nearly impossible to get out.
All in all, it’s believed that around 100,000 Syrians who have fled their homes are now staying in Jordan. An even higher number are internally displaced in Syria.
Most of the Syrians in Jordan are staying in and around the two northern towns of Ramtha and Mafraq, just south of the border.
Mafraq is also the town where Save the Children is preparing to store prepositioned stocks.
That means that when access into Syria is granted, be it in one week or in one year, Save the Children will be ready with first aid kits, blankets, hygiene kits, water purifying tablets and materials for running health clinics.
Please help us respond to this crisis – donate to our Emergency Fund