PCPM donates 52 RHUs to tackle COVID-19 in northwest Syria

Six quarantine centres for Covid-19 patients are being built across Syria. The country, torn by an almost decade-long war, has reported confirmed cases of the virus, and on March 29, the authorities in Syria announced the first confirmed Covid-19-related death.

In support of the Syrian people, the Polish Center for International Aid (PCPM) has donated 52 Better Shelters to the NGO Maram Foundation. The organisation is managing one of the six medical centres, located outside Idlib in northwest Syria, using the Better Shelters. The facility will have capacity for up to 260 patients with Covid-19.

Around 900,000 people in northwest Syria have been displaced by conflict since December 1, 2019. As attacks move further north in Idlib, people are squeezed into a shrinking area near the closed border with Turkey, which was already hosted to hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians.

The Syrian health care sector is reported to not have enough capacity or equipment required to battle a Covid-19 outbreak. The health care infrastructure in northwest Syria is almost completely destroyed. There is severe overcrowding in areas sheltering displaced civilians with a looming threat of continued conflict and violence.

“Some 40% of houses in Syria are destroyed,” says Wojtek Wilk, CEO of PCPM. “Better Shelter units will offer new opportunities to shelter thousands of homeless civilians. It is wonderful to see these structures being erected amidst destruction and rubble.”

“I believe it is time to stop using tents”, says Yakzan Shishakly, CEO, Maram Foundation for Relief & Development. “These shelters are delivering dignity and protection in addition to providing a better shelter. Everything around the world is improving to the better and it is time for the humanitarian community to think outside the box.”

Maram Foundation for Relief and Development is a non-profit organisation registered in Texas USA, with offices in Turkey and Jordan.

The Polish Center for International Aid (PCPM) provides foreign humanitarian and development assistance and is the largest Polish secular non-governmental organisation.