Vague and undefined frontlines, thousands of people fleeing every day, and no basic services or care: the war in Syria has unleashed a massive humanitarian crisis that has spread far beyond the country's national borders. The conflict is one of the biggest and longest humanitarian crises in decades. Repeated bombings of hospitals and other civilian facilities put the right to help affected people under threat. Around four million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries, and around eight million have been displaced within their own country. For countless families, every day is a struggle for survival.
In Syria, children no longer have access to basic primary routine vaccinations. As a result, in late 2013 the first cases of polio were recorded. The only protection against this disease is multiple vaccinations. To tackle this problem, Johanniter began its vaccination campaign in 2014. In total, 93.000 children have been vaccinated and 120.000 people were informed about the spread of the disease and how to prevent it. "A particular challenge concerning basic primary immunisation is the fact that vaccinations need to be administered repeatedly", explains Walter Berier, Director of the Johanniter Regional Office in Jordan. "Many people have fled to other locations within the region. But thanks to local staff, we were able to find them and complete the series of immunisations." Following the successful conclusion of the programme, Johanniter expanded its vaccination campaign in 2016 against contagious diseases such as measles, polio and tetanus.
Many Syrians remain in their country for many years, living in the midst of a conflict without a reliable supply of basic provisions. We are trying to support them to live a life in good health and with dignity, even though in the present situation this is extremely difficult," explains Anette Müller, Project Coordinator of Johanniter for Middle East.
To get an overview about our activities in Middle East, please take a look at this brochure