OFID helps bolster relief efforts in Syria and Yemen


Left: Delivering critical medical supplies to health facilities in east Aleppo. Photo: Syrian Red Crescent. Right: Delivering food parcels in Taiz. Photo: ICRC/Fareed Al-Homaid

August 7, 2017, Vienna, Austria. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved two emergency aid grants to help meet the health and food needs of approximately 67,000 people in Syria and Yemen. The funds will support activities being carried by the IFRC – the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Syria) and the ICRC - the International Committee of the Red Cross (Yemen). The two grants total US$800,000.

In Syria, the lead local humanitarian agency and coordinator of international relief efforts is the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). Since the onset of civil conflict in the country, the IFRC has supported SARC’s efforts in providing emergency and basic medical care, particularly in areas where health services have become severely disrupted. .

Against the backdrop of this situation, the IFRC requested funding from OFID to help finance commissioning of three mobile health units to serve communities in remote, rural areas of the Aleppo, Hama and Lattakia governorates. In addition, equipment and essential medical supplies will be distributed to SARC-run clinics, which are providing their services free of charge. Around 50,000 people are expected to benefit from this intervention.

OFID’s relationship with the IFRC spans 20 years, having supported 73 operations totaling nearly US$24 million.

In Yemen, since the onset of civil conflict in 2015, the ICRC has been assisting internally displaced people and residents alike, providing technical and medical support to healthcare facilities and responding to disease outbreaks, as well as providing food, water and household essentials. In light of the deteriorating conditions in the country, the ICRC is expanding the scope of its activities, particularly among worse-affected areas including the Red Sea coast in Taiz and the Northern and Central highlands.

OFID‘s grant to the ICRC will be earmarked for distributing food and essential items to nearly 17,000 people. Since the beginning of the current crisis, OFID has extended two earlier grants totaling US$550,000 in support of the ICRC’s activities in Yemen.