The UN had said that the 2023 hostilities “in northern Syria returned to levels not seen since 2019.”
Qatar Charity is set to provide 24,556 children in northern Syria with vital medical care with the launch of the ‘Enhancing Specialized Child Health Services’ project on Sunday, the Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Sunday.
The initiative aims to support 122,780 individuals in the region, with the Pediatric Department of Al-Rai Hospital in northern Syria expected to receive QC’s assistance for a year in hopes of reducing the child mortality rate.
The Qatari entity will cover the operational costs of the health facilities while providing much-needed medication for children in the area, where some 2.7 million displaced people have been sheltering since the beginning of the war in 2011.
“Operating the services of the pediatric department of the hospital is of great significance for the services it provides for sick children, whether through its capacity, the provision of free medicines, or the expertise of the medical staff who serve more than 130 children daily,” Abdul Fattah Al Qadi, the official of the Medical Office at the Local Council in northern Syria, said, as quoted by QNA.
The Qatari project will cover several departments at the Al-Rai Hospital, including the Outpatient Department, Hospitalisation Department, Neonatal and Intensive Care Unit, and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
“Now, we can admit cases of fainting, dehydration, respiratory failure, lung diseases, and others,” Dr. Alaa Al Abood, a pediatric specialist at Al-Rai Hospital, said, adding that the cases can also be referred to Turkiye.
Syrians in northern Syria have been living under a dire humanitarian situation as a result of the Bashar Al Assad regime’s war on the population following the 2011 pro-democracy protests.
The Assad regime had also blocked aid to northern Syria last year following the devastating February 6, 2023 earthquake that struck the area as well as Turkiye, claiming more than 50,000 lives.
Geneva-based NGO, IMPACT Initiatives, said northern Syria’s communities “are still grappling with the profound challenges” a year on, with the latest escalations since the beginning of the Gaza war on October 7, 2023 contributing to the situation.
“To this day, the situation in Northwest Syria remains fragile. Besides the devastating February 2023 earthquakes, the major conflict escalations in October of last year resulted in additional damage, human casualties and displacement,” IMPACT said on February 6, the one-year mark of the earthquake.
The NGO noted that approximately 300,000 people have been displaced in northwest Syria in 2023 alone. Israel has launched several attacks on Syria since the start of the war on Gaza, targeting Damascus, Aleppo and rural areas.
Before the war, the Syrian regime had also carried out intensified attacks on Idlib, the last area controlled by the opposition. Since 2011, the Assad regime has killed 231,108 civilians, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.
On December 21, 2023, the United Nations said the 2023 hostilities “in northern Syria returned to levels not seen since 2019.”
“The situation is unsustainable and insupportable,” Lisa Doughten, director of financing and partnerships division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said at the time.