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Partners in Syria suspend programmes after airstrikes

On February 6, a centre run by Women Now, a partner organisation of Trócaire who provide support and training to women affected by the conflict, was struck by an airstrike in Ghouta. Their centre was destroyed and six civilians were killed. 

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In a statement, Women Now said, “In order to protect our staff and beneficiaries, Women Now has suspended all activities in Eastern Ghouta”.

Sadly, this is not the first time Women Now centres have been targeted. Two centres elsewhere in Syria were hit on 11 January and on 28 January. 

Two staff members lost their homes to airstrikes last month. In one such incident, a young child who had been staying with the family was killed. 

Women Now have witnessed what they describe as “an unprecedented intensification of bombing” over recent weeks. On staff member, Mida, said, “We are used to life with the bombs, but in recent days it has turned into a frenzy.”

In all of Syria, the Syrian Human Rights Network has documented the killing of 774 civilians, including 76 children, during the month of January 2018 alone.

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The Women Now centre that was hit by an airstrike on February 6. 

In Damascus, a relief programme run by the Jesuit Relief Services (JRS) has been suspended as a result of the intensification of bombing over recent days. 

A mortar exploded in front of one of their centres in Damascus, killing a woman and injuring several others. There has been continuous bombing of civilian areas in the city over recent weeks. 

The United Nations issued a statement on Tuesday warning of the dire humanitarian crisis in several parts of the country. They called on warring parties to immediately stop fighting so aid and basic services can reach those in need, and the sick and critically wounded can evacuate.

Trócaire condemns the deliberate targeting of civilian areas and organisations who are providing much-needed relief and support to people inside Syria. We call upon all governments to demand an immediate end to stop military attacks on residential areas and to open roads to and from besieged areas in order to allow safe passage and the delivery of vital aid. 

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