March 20 2003
SOS Children's Villages to start emergency relief for Iraqi refugees
20/03/2003 - SOS Children's Villages has been given permission to launch emergency relief measures for Iraqi refugees. The Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, which is co-ordinating the expected refugee crisis on behalf of the Jordanian government, has agreed to include SOS Children's Villages as one of the NGOs which will provide relief in the refugee camps located near the Iraqi border.
Emergency relief measures, which are being co-ordinated by the SOS Children's Villages Regional Office Middle East, will be launched in the small town of Ruwayshid near the Iraqi border, approximately 270 km from Jordan's capital Amman. A team of four staff from the regional office and the Jordanian SOS Children's Village association are currently at the border and will visit the designated area to assess the situation.
The relief effort will be targeted primarily at women and children, and measures are expected to be launched as soon as refugees begin to arrive in Jordan. More than 20,000 blankets, generously donated to SOS Children's Villages by e-gatematrix Switzerland and transported by Royal Jordanian Airlines, have already arrived in Jordan and will be distributed in the refugee camps. SOS Children's Villages has also purchased 50,000 packs of milk.
Additional measures being planned at this stage include: providing emergency accommodation for abandoned children, distributing food supplies and providing psychological support and educational activities for the children in the camps.
More detailed information concerning relief measures will follow as soon as possible.