Drinking water is scarce in Syria Â© Yomyat Kzefeh Hawen Fi Dimashq
Despite a largely observed ceasefire in Syria, the situation for the population is deteriorating, according to international aid workers. "The situation is becoming even more difficult," said Misereor Middle East regional officer.
In addition to completely destroyed houses, clinics and schools, drinking water is currently proving to be a problem for many in Damascus. There are also signs of a growing shortage of medical supplies, Astrid Meyer told the Evangelischer Pressedienst (Protestant Press Service).
"One must also see that at least in the urban catchment area of Damascus, fighting continued when the weapons were supposed to be silent," explained the Middle East regional officer of the Catholic relief organization. The ceasefire that has been in effect since Friday is far too uncertain to allow any major investments in reconstruction projects to be made at this stage.
Focus on acute care
Acute care is still the focus, she said. Here's how Misereor supports a Jesuit clinic near Aleppo and drinking water supplies in the city. The Franciscan well project is connected to the parish in the west of the city, which has long been under government control. But people from the eastern part of Aleppo, which was controlled by rebels until the end of the year, have also benefited, Meyer said.
Despite all the political imponderables, however, projects must also be tackled that offer people prospects, for example through education and youth work. That's why Misereor backs such community outreach projects and partners, including the four Franciscan social centers in the country. Psychosocial support is also to be expanded there. "We want to contribute to coming to terms with the terrible experiences," Meyer explained, "Especially in the midst of hardship, there must be something that gives people courage and opens up a path for the future."