This generation has never seen anything like what we are witnessing in Syria. The bloody conflict has now been going on for over two years and has brought suffering to millions of people who are now refugees. The people desperately need help and children are suffering the most. Overall, 70 percent of Syrian refugees are women and children; in fact, half of the refugees are children.
In a press release by Mercedes-Benz today, humanitarian aid worth $5.4 million USD will be sent to Syrian refugees in Turkey starting tomorrow. A partnership of Daimler Trucks and Wings of Help, called Wings on Wheels will bring relief supplies to the refugees. In a “Convoy of Hope” they will depart from Frankfurt September 20 to mark Universal Children’s Day.
The report says approximately 300 pallets of relief supplies will arrive at Gaziantep (a city close to the Syrian border ) in Southern Turkey in seven days. The much needed humanitarian aid will be distributed to refugee camps when it arrives. Mercedes-Benz is donating 11 new Actros semitrailer trucks to transport the $5.4 million USD worth of relief supplies over a distance of almost 4,000 km to the Turkish-Syrian border.
As of July 2013, about 3,500 babies have been born in the camps to refugees. The report says even the most basic needs are not being met. For example, there are neither adequate supplies of food, water, and medication nor enough medical personnel and emergency shelters.
The urgently needed food supplies and medication being delivered will be primarily for women and children in the refugee camps. The supplies will include tents, baby food, wheelchairs, two ambulances, seven mobile medical centers, 10,000 blankets, winter clothing for 40,000 people, and 50,000 child vaccinations.
The children are the ones who are suffering the most. Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, the Daimler manager for Daimler Trucks said, “The plight of the refugees in the camps, and in particular that of the children is dramatic. There are drastic shortages of virtually everything in the crisis region. Tents, blankets, and vaccines are desperately needed. That’s why we are supporting Wings of Help’s efforts by providing 11 Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks that will transport urgently needed relief supplies."
This is a major human disaster unlike anything this generation has seen. According to the United Nations, it is in fact “the worst human catastrophe that the UN has ever had to cope with,” says Frank Franke, President of Wings of Help.
The refugees are facing an approaching winter that will affect these children in a major way. One of the refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border will be facing temperatures that often drop below zero at night because of the 700 meter altitude. The Mercedes-Benz “Convoy of Hope” is also delivering winter-proof tents for 2,000 people as well as 10,000 blankets and winter clothing for 40,000 refugees.
The Daimler Trucks and Wings of Help and other organizations will bring much-needed relief supplies to the refugees in the next week. But what hope will these children face in the future in this war ravaged region of the globe?