The Syrian Civil War Crisis started in 2011. More than half of the pre-war population (approximately 22-23 million) has been displaced. Prior to the civil war, Syria was known for its rich cultural history boasting 5000 years of heritage. It was also considered a political and military leader in the region. Agriculture consisted of 22% of the economy, industry and excavation 25%, retail 23% and tourism 12% according to figures in 2009 by the Syrian Central Bank. When the civil war broke out, it started what is now the largest refugee crisis facing the Middle East.
Families have lost members or have been involuntarily separated from their loved ones because warring groups have shut down the flow of people leaving and entering into specific areas. This also means that humanitarian aid cannot reach these places. People in these areas are suffering a significant rise in prices of essential items and a lack of access to food and water. These conditions have led people to desperation. Many refugees have now risked drowning in the ocean in order to flee from Syria.
WCF sponsors mobile medical teams to work in the region. Our work has primarily focused on providing free medical clinics to the refugees in neighboring countries where they have fled. Refugees find themselves subject to overcrowded camps and are vulnerable to the diseases that often come with these living conditions. Exposure to extreme temperatures, whether it be cold or hot can cause many illnesses on refugee populations living in tents. As refugees with no rights in their host country, it makes it very difficult to access needed medical care. Often the sheer location of the camps makes it difficult to travel to a local clinic.
In WCF’s recent medical trips to the region, our teams have seen several hundred patients who were refugees fleeing from the Syrian war, ISIS or religious persecution. These refugees experienced language barriers as well as racial barriers being in a country not their own which discouraged them from seeking medical care. We were able to provide free services such as primary medical care, chronic illness consultation and free medication.