Daily Video

December 2, 2013

Aid Organizations Continue to Face Challenges in Syria


Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war three years ago, some 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and three million have fled to neighboring countries. The quality of life for these refugees has deteriorated drastically, with violence part of their daily routines.

“There was no life. Everything was dead,” said one refugee who had fled central Damascus for the suburbs. “Everyone was mourning their children who had been killed.”

Humanitarian aid has struggled to keep up with the need in the area, especially where fighting makes access difficult.

“We’re moving thousands of truckloads of food every single month with thousands drivers,” said Matthew Hollingsworth of the World Food Program. “You have families at home who worry about them as well. And it’s — it’s frequently just a simple case that they are too frightened to go into particular areas until the fighting calms down.”

Cases of polio, eradicated in Syria a decade-and-a-half ago, have reappeared. The crippling disease, apparently brought in by fighters from Pakistan, has been confirmed in 17 people, mostly children.

While government and rebels are now allowing vaccines across the battle lines, more food and medicine are needed urgently to meet demand.

Warm up questions
  1. What are some of the reasons that civil wars are much more difficult to resolve than other wars?
  2. Who is fighting who in Syria? Is either side “winning”
  3. What is a refugee? How do other countries support them?
Discussion questions
  1. What are some of the challenges faced by refugees in Syria?
  2. What is the world doing to help?
  3. If you were in charge how would you handle the refugee situation?
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