Relief work as one of the faces of activism of the Syrian revolution

The barbaric violent acts of the regime went beyond killing, detaining and torture; it is now causing daily suffering for Syrians on all

Entire cities are being assaulted, to the point where there are areas that could be considered disaster areas. This is because of the continuous shelling, the displacement of people, the siege, the sparse supply of heating substances and basic food supplies, as well as the complete destruction of the infrastructure for homes, shops and facilities.

Thousands of families are now without financial support because their men are either killed, detained, or in hiding, thus losing their jobs and sources of income.

The deterioration of living conditions of Syrians in these circumstances requires quick action by the various revolutionary, political and popular forces to ease the suffering of those families as much as possible and within all means.

The Local Coordination Committees are working alongside other revolutionary forces on sending the basic food supplies for families in need across Syria (Rice, Sugar, Oil, Ghee and Lentiles…). Other
necessary elements like blankets and clothing are sent to crisis areas where people have been displaced from their homes by shelling and destruction.

Malath Aumran, one of the coordinators in the aid committee in the LCC, says that help is being coordinated with field activists who provide lists of those in need and update them regularly. Help from
Syrians inside and abroad are coming in forms monetary donations as well as basic supplies.

The increased number of army defectors is making the demand significantly higher, for those defectors left families in need of support, knowing that these defectors themselves are living in very hard conditions.

Aumran adds that the main difficulty in aid work is in the continuation of the crisis for several months, and the increasing numbers of martyrs, detainees, defectors and those in hideout. This is on top of the deterioration economical condition for the country in general.

For example, there is a real lack of heating fuel and gas, continuous electricity blackout in many areas in the country, and a sharp increase in the prices of these basic materials.

A propane tank used to be sold at 275 Syrian pounds, now it is sold at 600-800 pounds, if it could be found at all. Fuel price went up to 25 pounds per liter, where the official price is 15 ponds per liter.

A candle, which is indispensible in case of electricity blackout, used to be sold at 2 Syrian pounds. Now it can only be found at 10-15 pounds.

Prices of basic food materials rose significantly also: Corn cooking-oil (4 KG package) used to be sold for 350 pounds; it is now sold for 475. Sugar price increased from 45 to 60 Syrian pounds.

Prices change from one location to another according to the security condition of that area. The prices of many of these substances are sometimes doubled in crisis zones for the complexity of delivering materials and food.

Imad Houssari, the secretary of the Association for Supporting the Syrian People (ASPS) which has been recently established in Paris, says: Although it is easy to get donations outside of Syria since a
legal cover has been established for such operations, the process of delivering these donations to Syria faces a lot of obstacles, and asking for donations inside Syria is an operation that has many
security risks. Field activists are doing unbelievable work for getting donations to those who need it, and this is an action that is as dangerous as demonstrating, for example.

One of the other obstacles facing activists is delivering aid supplies. This is because of the several army and security checkpoint everywhere, and not allowing any aid organizations (official or not)
like the Red Cross or the Syrian Red Crescent from working on this issue. There is also a problem in communicating with crisis zones to know the needs of these areas because of the continuous communication blackouts
in all their shapes and forms.

Malath Aumran says that most of these circumstances make donations and distribution incomplete and far from being perfect, which means that there is a real need to continually work on this file.

Imad Houssari says that donations volume should be increased inside and outside Syria. He also says: “This is the least we could do as expat Syrians, especially with the continuous deterioration of the
economy in Syria and the decrease of the value of the Syrian Pound, which is reflecting directly on people, especially in crisis zones and areas under siege”.

Houssari finishes by inviting Syrians who are still distancing themselves from the revolution to join directly or indirectly, or by supporting aid work in its different shapes and forms.

For more information please call Mr.Aumran


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