Today was quite eventful. We started the day at Islamic Relief Jordan’s office here in Amman. We met with Jayyousi Ruba and Acting Country Director Sharar Mahyub. Project details and final week’s agenda were discussed.
Irbid, in northwestern Jordan, 50km south of the Syrian border, was selected by Islamic Relief Jordan as this project site was an area that was being significantly under serviced (if not mostly ignored) by NGOs. Indeed, after Zaatari camp, Irbid is the second largest area in Jordan where Syrian refugees are moving to. UNICEF is managing the Zaatari camp and most NGOs were conducting projects there. As of May 2013, UNHCR reports 65,835 refugees in Irbid.
With the $116,000 raised by Help4Syria Project, a total of 3,045 hygiene kits were put together by through tender by a local company and quality control conducted by Islamic Relief Jordan’s Procurement Committee. Islamic Relief has identified that hygiene items are in significant need. These kits consist of two months worth of the following items:
- Baby diapers
- Shampoo bottle
- Soap bars
- Ladies sanitary items
- Clorox bleach (1 L)
- Laundry detergent packets
- Dish washing liquid
- Facial tissue packets
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Dish washing sponge
These items can be seen in the attached photo.
Project started May 15 with tendering and procurement and the actual distribution began June 12. Distribution will be completed by July 7, 2013 – just in time for Ramadan.
What impressed me was that Islamic Relief has internal monitoring to ensure distribution occurs efficiently and fairly so that the beneficiaries do not have to wait more than 10 minutes to get their items and that there are no long line ups.
We then returned to Amman to tour the Akila Hospital. The Syrian Development Fund is a US-based NGO that has an on-going project to rent out the top two floors of this private hospital to treat Syrian refugees coming in. There are 28 beds and at the time we visited, 25 were admitted. The hospital is staffed by Syrian orthopedic surgeons, gynecologists, urologists and internal medicine specialists. They treat Syrian refugees free of charge, including medicines. The Syrians arrive at the border with Jordan and then are transferred by police and/or other locals to the Akila hospital. The stories of the inpatients are horrific – including a young 27-year-old woman, 8 months pregnant butted in the back of her neck leaving her paralyzed. Baby needed to be delivered by c-section and is doing well. Mom has horrific muscle wasting of her limbs and suffers from bed sores. Another woman (see photo) was traveling in a car in Syria with family members when their vehicle was hit by a missile (? RPG). All occupants in the car except her and 1 daughter were killed. Right side of her face was injured with heat and shrapnel and her left arm sustained a complex comminuted fracture. Her young daughter fortunately received minor injuries. Another elderly man lay in one of the orthopedic beds with a fractured arm resulting from a hit from a sniper. He was lucky to be alive. A common tactic by these snipers is to intentionally wound a person and then shoot to kill those who come to the injured person’s aid.
I will be doing a clinic there on Thursday.
Please keep checking our blog for more exciting updates.