Charity steps in to help Syrian refugees in Egypt

by Plan UK | Plan UK
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 12:32 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

THOUSANDS of Syrian refugees in Egypt will receive much-needed support from a new aid programme launched by children’s charity Plan International.

An estimated 333,000 Syrian refugees are in Egypt, with around 35,000 in the coastal city of Alexandria, where Plan operates. Around half of them are children.

“Violence has left devastating marks on children’s lives,” says Unni Krishnan, Head of Disaster Preparedness & Response at Plan International.

“Activities to help children heal and bolster their resilience are key priorities. For children who witnessed violence, emotional care and support should be a priority.

“We can’t continue to fail them. What is at stake is the lives and future of a whole generation of Syrian children - both refugees in Egypt and children who are displaced within Syria,” he added.

Plan has been granted special permission from the Egyptian government to work with the refugees in Alexandria and the local host community.

The organisation is currently developing a number of projects in the city, including providing education and information, as well as health and environmental services.

“We will be working with both vulnerable Syrian and Egyptian populations as a key measure to support the peaceful co-existence of the two communities,” says Ruairi McDermott, Plan’s Country Director in Egypt.

“Our initial assessment of needs identified significant gaps in assistance in certain areas.

“These include education, accommodation, livelihood, health and protection, food and financial assistance as well as issues relating to the registration of refugees.

“We will be working to help the refugees and members of the host community in Alexandria in those key areas,” he adds.

There are no Syrian camps in Egypt. Most refugees are living in urban areas, alongside the Egyptian population.

Current estimates suggest 2.9 million people have fled the conflict in Syria.