“Nothing for the winter”: Syrian refugees already feeling the cold in Egypt

Meg-Pruce

 

Meg Pruce, Information and Communications Officer

Save the Children, Egypt Emergency Response

November 15, 2013

 


This week has been the first time I have felt the cold since arriving in Egypt six weeks ago. My morning walk to work now feels noticeably autumnal – however much the palm trees along the way might make you think otherwise. Thankfully my ‘just in case’ attitude to packing means I have a nice warm jumper I can put on during the chillier nights. From my conversations with Syrian refugee families and children, however, it is clear that many of them do not have this luxury.

 

Ali_Meg_Pruce_Blog_Syria

Ali*, aged three, takes a look at the adult and baby winter blankets being distributed by Save the Children and local partner staff

“We thought that we would only stay three months, and we came in the summer so we didn’t bring any thick clothes”, Osman* tells me during my visit to one of Save the Children’s Child Friendly Spaces, where Syrian refugee children can play and share their experiences in a safe environment. Osman is thirteen years old and lives in an underprivileged area of Greater Cairo. His family came with enough savings to stay temporarily, but as the conflict in Syria drags on, this money has now dried up and Osman’s family remains displaced. He tells me that it started getting cold two weeks ago, and what they really need are heaters for their home. Even with his two brothers working, however, the family are struggling to pay the rent – leaving little money for the winter items they need.

 

Osman’s story is echoed by Rana*, aged twelve, who I meet in another area of Cairo where many Syrian refugees have settled. Last winter, Rana’s family simply stayed inside as much as they could. This year, they remain unprepared for the upcoming colder months. Describing her current home, Rana tells me “there is nothing for the winter”. All they brought from Syria were some blankets, she says. Neither of her parents work, so they cannot afford to buy warmer clothes for Rana and her brothers and sisters. Rana explains that their Syrian neighbours are having similar problems: they arrived without anything for winter – not expecting Egypt to be cold – and have no money to buy what they need. 

 

Kids_Meg_Pruce_Blog_Syria

Syrian children receiving their blankets from Save the Children. Save the Children are distributing adult and baby blankets to 1865 vulnerable Syrian refugees to help protect them during Egypt’s colder winter months.

Save the Children has already distributed adult and baby winter blankets in the two areas I visited, helping to protect 1865 vulnerable Syria refugees against the cold. While people’s situations are similar, it was also made clear to me that each family has specific needs depending on their circumstances, which is why we are tailoring our plans to provide freedom of choice. We are looking into using a flexible voucher system so that people can buy the non-food items (NFIs) which best suit their family. This way, whether it is a room heater, carpets or cosy clothes that people need, they can decide for themselves.

 

After hearing the children’s experiences, it gets me thinking about winter in Egypt. The country certainly doesn’t have a reputation for needing to wrap up warm, and the winters are a lot milder than in many countries within the Syrian region. However, handling the colder months is all about preparation and having the right resources. Not knowing how long they will stay for when they flee their country, many refugees simply do not have a choice.

 

*Names have been changed to protect identity

 

Click here to donate to support our work for Syria's Children

7 comments

  1. you are reading this and is now realizing that this is stupid. but yu should know that yu are the stupid one.

  2. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Thank you
    Sac porté main Longchamp http://www.sacslouisvuitton.fr/

  3. ) mechanism based on both electrostatic field skills Adams favorably outstanding reputation in the refractive optical method with the sun
    parajumpers kindermode reduziert

  4. A homecare services company huskies jobs need nursing assistant to take extra state approved classes and testing.

  5. I simply couldn’t leave your website before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual info an individual supply on your guests?

    Is gonna be again ceaselessly to check out new posts

  6. 999 We’re undecided if they’re a sufficient amount of to prevent a pedicab driver, but we haven’t yet placed a great deal of of our self-worth inside their arms.. On line TutorialsLet’s experience it, a great many of us really don’t hold the time or revenue to employ hair dressers, louis vuitton document holder makeup artists and stylists on even an occasional basis.
    nhl jerseys china

Leave a Reply