Syria: Limited access to basic resources affects the population
25 January 2017

JRS in cooperation with the Embassy to the Holy See, Latin Church, and the Society of Jesus and Mary distributed hygiene products and winter clothes to the displaced families in Jibreen. (JRS Syria)
The displaced, without sufficient access to appropriate lodging and heating, continue to suffer.

24 January 2017 - The winter in Syria continues to be rather harsh. The displaced, without sufficient access to appropriate lodging and heating, continue to suffer. Essential commodities are not easily available; and whenever they are, the prices are astronomical.

In Aleppo, the fragile peace continues. There are occasional sounds of gun fire/mortar shells. However, in the past week no serious attacks or casualties have been reported. The displaced and others affected are still looking for ways to find greater security. This past week has seen more people coming into Aleppo – including NGO workers and media personnel.

The people in and around Damascus are still suffering because of lack of water. Since December 22nd, the main water supply to the city has been cut off. For most of the people, especially for the displaced, this has been extremely difficult. The 'Water Authority' has initiated an emergency system, by which they ration out water for approximately four to six hours every four days to the different neighbourhoods. On the security front, things look stable. The last reported explosion that took place in Kafar-Souseh on January 12th. 

There are reports of clashes and fighting in the northern and eastern rural areas of Homs. The overall security situation has been generally good. However, the electricity supply is still very erratic.

Facing all odds JRS Syria staff continue with their normal and daily activities and other programmes including trainings in Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. The Aleppo team continues to face challenges due to the displacement and the huge influx of displaced persons from the eastern part of the city. On January 21st, working in collaboration with the Latin Rite Church and the Society of Jesus and Mary, hygiene kits and woolen underwear clothes were distributed to 497 families in the Jibreen area (Al-Bareed).

JRS Syria and JRS MENA pray and hope that the high level, two-day peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan which have just concluded, will bring an end to the almost six years of violence and the beginning of lasting peace for the people of Syria. Above all, we call upon every faction to ensure that the 'Astana Agreement' is respected both in letter and in spirit, for the good of all.

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Martina Bezzini