3 October 2019 - Syria

Save the Children supported health compound hit in Syria, seven people injured

Save the Children supported health compound in Syria was hit by artillery shells on Thursday, injuring seven adults including a doctor at the site, and leaving one in critical condition.

 

Around 60 patients including children were in the facility at the time that what has been identified as a shell hit the southern wing of the compound. The Maraat Al Numan health compound served up to 300,000 people living in the area, with on average 200 visitors daily, offering critical help to hundreds of children and their families. This included essential nutritional, delivery, dental and vaccination services among others. 

 

The full extent of the damaged is still being assessed but the facility is currently out of service.

 

Amjad Yamin, a Spokesperson for Save the Children said, "Yet again, civilians are paying the price of a long, deadly conflict. This facility was offering critical help to hundreds of men, women and children. We stand with our partner Syria Relief and their staff who were on site when the facility was hit and we call for the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers,”

 

“The area has been relatively calm since the announcement of the ceasefire, and the displaced populations had started returning, now this may send them back,”

 

Save the Children has been supporting this compound since 2016 through its partner Syria Relief. 

 

Save the Children is calling on all parties to stop this war on children. The Syrian conflict must not be allowed to become the moment where the violation of fundamental human rights and international laws designed to protect vulnerable children becomes the new normal.

 

Save the Children is calling on all parties to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and human rights law, and to place the protection of civilians first. Schools, hospitals and other vital civilian infrastructure must be protected from attacks.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • According to the UN, since the end of April, at least 100 children have been killed or injured in North West Syria. 
  • North West Syria hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations inside the country, with half of the population having been uprooted at least once, and some being displaced up to seven times over the course of the conflict. Most now live in overcrowded camps and shelters in rural areas with nowhere left to flee to. Food, water and medicine are in short supply, alongside essential services like schools and healthcare.
  • Save the Children supports Syrians in the North West of the country through a network of partner organisations on the ground. Their work includes running primary healthcare clinics and a maternity hospital, vaccination and food security programmes, supporting a network of schools and carrying out child protection work.
  • There are six ‘grave violations’ of children in conflicts as defined by the United Nations (UN). They are used to monitor, document and report on violations committed against children in conflicts around the world. They include:
    Killing and maiming of children; recruitment or use of children as soldiers; sexual violence against children; abduction of children, attacks against schools or hospitals; denial of humanitarian access for children.
  • Save the Children works through partners inside Idlib to reach vulnerable children. There is a total of some 15,000 aid workers on the ground providing shelter materials, food assistance and health services to the population including newly displaced people.