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Millions of people in Syria and Jordan are particularly suffering because of the harsh winter weather. Impoverished families have nothing – many of them are refugees and reside in makeshift accommodation. In both war-torn Syria and in Jordan, which hosts 650,000 Syrian refugees, the state is not able to guarantee that the basic needs of these families are met. Many people live without heating or insolation, and sometimes even without windows. Warm clothing and blankets are lacking. The cold seeps in through the cracks and the lightweight jumpers.
In light of the falling temperatures, Caritas Switzerland has now initiated winter relief activities as part of two already running emergency aid projects. In Aleppo, many people barely have any items needed to cope with winter. 1,800 displaced families, returnees and local households are receiving vouchers for warm jackets and winter shoes from Caritas Syria, the local partner organisation. Caritas Syria is also providing each family with a two-square-metre rug, which insolates homes by keeping heat in the main room, and a tarpaulin sheet to cover windows and doors. A thermal blanket per person is helping people to also stay warm at night.
In Jordan, 200 families are able to cover the cost of heaters, gas cylinders, gas refills and blankets for three consecutive winters because of seasonal money transfers. This winter, an additional 750 households are being supported, made possible through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Staff and employees are doing everything they can to be there for the people and support them in withstanding the cold temperatures and winter weather, while also dealing with the difficult winter conditions themselves.