MapAction launches Syria Appeal

UK, 1 Feb – MapAction is appealing to its supporters to make a donation to enable the charity to continue its commitment to help those affected by the Syria crisis. Since December 2012, MapAction has had six volunteers working in the region to help to map the needs of affected communities and coordinate humanitarian efforts. The resulting situational analysis has contributed to securing pledges for more than $1.5 billion at a recent conference of international donors in Kuwait. Before Wednesday’s conference, donors had given only nine per cent of the amount sought.

Valerie Amos, the UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, highlighted at the conference the latest figures on the affected population in northern Syria, referring directly to the evidence from the J-RANS inter-agency rapid assessment in northern Syria, to which MapAction was a key contributor. Our mapped information helped to provide evidence that the numbers in need in the north alone may be as high as 3.2m, a significant increase on previous estimates which was less than this for the whole country. Valerie Amos commented: “Up to three million people are having trouble getting food. Bakeries have been destroyed or cannot get fuel, so bread is in short supply. Cereal, fruit and vegetable production has dropped by half in some areas.

Twenty-five per cent of schools are no longer in use because they have been destroyed or have been turned into communal shelters. Thousands of children are unable to go to school.

The needs are huge. The UN estimates that four million people need urgent humanitarian assistance, including two million who have fled their homes and are now living without the most basic services: without clean water, sanitation facilities and electricity.

Alongside the situational analysis of affected communities in the north, MapAction has also had volunteers working from Beirut on the Syria Needs Analysis Project (SNAP) in partnership with the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS). Its mapped information is providing valuable, independent analysis of the overall humanitarian situation, within Syria and neighbouring countries.

MapAction has already committed to deploying further volunteers to the region to assist with the ongoing coordination of humanitarian efforts. The charity anticipates its involvement will continue for many months to come, which will stretch its limited resources and has led to this appeal for funding.

It costs approximately £4,500 to deploy a team of two skilled volunteers to the region for a two-week period, including flights, accommodation and subsistence. As demonstrated at the recent international donor conference, the impact of their work makes an important contribution to key decisions about the delivery of humanitarian aid. Please give what you can.

The Syria Crisis Appeal will be directly channelled into MapAction’s humanitarian mapping service for the Syria Crisis. In the unlikely event that the charity raises more money than can be reasonably spent, any surplus funds will be channelled into the charity’s Rapid Response Fund – a designated fund that supports the direct costs of deploying skilled volunteers to humanitarian emergencies anywhere in the world.