Millions of families have been forced to abandon their homes after years of conflict and violence. In places like Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, people struggle to stay alive in their communities, until they have no other choice but to flee.
This month marks two anniversaries that no one is celebrating: Four years of conflict in Yemen and eight in Syria.
- An estimated 190,350 Yemenis have fled to neighboring countries
- More than 280,000 people are seeking refuge in Yemen
- An estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations
- As of December 2016, 4.81 million Syrians have fled the country
- 6.3 million Syrians are displaced internally
- More than 10 million Syrians are exposed to the risk posed by explosive remnants of war
- 2.1 million Iraqis displaced inside the country
- More than 360,000 Iraqis displaced, living in unfinished and abandoned buildings
Humanity & Inclusion provides emergency care to people with disabilities and injuries living in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. Every day, our teams meet beneficiaries who share horrifying stories of bombs, torture, terror, and escape. But we take stock of their strength. Their survival. And together we set new goals. We celebrate new victories, however small.
Abdelkrim, 60, from Homs, Syria
"One day, while I was in front of the house, I saw planes in the sky. I thought I saw an unmanned aircraft in the middle of reconnaissance. Then it launched a missile that exploded in the street. Shrapnel came into my left leg." Abdelkrim bandaged his leg and when he finally made it to a doctor, he was told it had to be amputated due to infection. Today, Abdelkrim is recovering thanks to the rehabilitation care he receives from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Jordan. "I wish the war would end and that everyone could return in peace and security."
Warda's family, from Iraq
In February 2017, Warda and her family were caught in an explosion as they were fleeing Mosul, Iraq. After having both of her legs amputated, the young woman recovered in a hospital on the outskirts of the city, with her husband and daughter, who were also injured. Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation team provided Warda and her family with psychological support and physical therapy.
Yesser, 12, from Yemen
Yasser was doing homework next to his father when they were both struck by an explosion. Yasser lost his leg and his father did not survive. Today, Yasser receives rehabilitation care from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Yemen.
Wafa, 42, from Homs, Syria
"The planes attacked the city and sent bombs without any mercy to the families and innocent children who still lived there." In July 2012, three bombs fell on Wafa's house. During the attack, Wafa broke her left leg. "When I came out of the coma, my burns and my leg were terribly painful. But this pain was nothing compared to what I felt when I learned that four of my children had died. I could not protect them." Today, Wafa receives rehabilitation care from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Jordan.
Ali, 1, from Iraq
In April 2017, Ali and his family were used as human shields in Mosul, Iraq. Caught in a bombing, Ali was severely injured and his parents and brother were killed. The young boy receives rehabilitation care from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Iraq. Our team also provides his aunt and uncle, who are taking care of him, with advice on how to help Ali with physical therapy exercises.
Kamal, 15, from Dera'a, Syria
"I woke up with shards of glass all over my body and the bedroom door had collapsed on me. The air was dusty. My brother was trying to take me to my mother's room, but I could not hold onto both of my legs." The family manages, with difficulty, to bring Kamal to the nearest hospital: "My whole body was covered with blood. I was operated on briefly at first, then I had two operations to both my hand and my legs. I've never used weapons, and yet it was me that was bombed. I feel only sadness. When you do not feel safe in your own country, where can you be?" Today, Kamal receives rehabilitation support from Humanity & Inclusion in Jordan.
Ali, 20, from Syria
In 2013, Ali lost the use of his legs after being seriously injured in a bombing in Syria. The young Syrian refugee now lives with his family in a makeshift camp in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation team has been helping him adapt to his disability through physical therapy.
Having spent years living in war zones and then as refugees in foreign countries, many Syrians with disabilities have gone without physical therapy, psychological support, and other vital medical care for long periods of time. Without proper care, disabilities and impairments become more severe and difficult to treat. That’s why Humanity & Inclusion continues to seek out Syrian refugees in countries like Lebanon and connect them with rehabilitation services.
The organization helps people like Bayan, 13, and her two brothers, who all have cerebral palsy. Her family fled the war in Syria two years ago and now live in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. HI covers the cost of the children's rehabilitation sessions. The family could not afford this sort of care before.
"Physical therapy is the most important thing for my children,” says Aisha, Bayan’s mother. “Without it, their condition will get worse and worse. This is the first time Bayan’s ever had this type of treatment. Unfortunately, because she didn’t receive treatment earlier, she’ll never walk again. But it might not be too late for her brothers.”
The whole team at the rehabilitation center is involved in caring for the three children and each is showing gradual signs of improvement. Bayan's mother and her children also receive mental health counseling. Aisha participates in self-help group to give mothers the chance to talk through the challenges they face every day.
For Syrian refugees with disabilities in Lebanon, receiving mental health care in addition physical rehabilitation is vital to recovery. Since June 2017, Humanity & Inclusion has partnered with the Mousawat Rehabilitation Center in the Beqaa Valley to provide children with disabilities and their families with mental health care.
Children at the center have access to comprehensive rehabilitation services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychosocial support. Every week, the mental health and rehabilitation staff meet to discuss their patients’ cases and how they can provide a holistic treatment plan.
The center also offers parents psychological support, including a parental support group. At the start of the project, parents were reluctant to speak with psychologists, for fear of being stigmatized by their community. Today, it has become common for them to request these services.
Currently, about 300 children and their families are treated free of charge thanks to Humanity & Inclusion. The organization focuses mainly on early intervention and follow-up care with the parents. Many families are beginning to return to Syria, so it is important, for example, that parents learn the rehabilitation exercises needed for their child’s treatment so they can continue them in Syria.
A few months after her son Abdel’s birth, Ibtissam realized that he did not react like other babies: he could not grasp objects, he could not sit up by himself, and he was having spasms. When her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, she turned to various rehabilitation centers to treat her child.
“The public centers would not accept us because I’m a Palestinian national,” says Ibtissam. “I was referred to a private clinic, but the cost of the sessions was far too high. That's when I was told about Mousawat Rehabilitation Center. Through its partnership with the center, Humanity & Inclusion provides free rehabilitation services to needy families.
For the past two years, Abdel has received occupational, physical, and speech therapy at the center. The staff has also taught Ibtissam physical therapy exercises to do with Abdel at home.
Since he began his treatment, the boy has made continual progress: "His physical impairments have improved significantly,” says Ibtisam. “He is also starting to understand when I talk to him, which he couldn’t do before. I hope that in the future he will be able to express himself, for example, when he is hungry or in pain. I would like him to become more and more independent.”
A psychologist helps Ibtissam through the process. "He gives me advice on how to communicate with my child without getting tense,” says Ibtissam. “I’ve learned to give Abdel space, so he becomes more self-sufficient.”
Parents of children treated at the center attend a support group. It gives mothers the opportunity to talk about the daily challenges they face and to support each other: "I realized that even if my family doesn’t accept my son, I have to do my best to include him in it,” says Ibtissam. “This self-help group has given me hope again.”
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This report identifies indiscriminate bombing of civilians as the overriding factor forcing millions of Syrians to flee their homes. Based on interviews with Syrian refugees in July 2016, a document review, and expert interviews, the report identifies the large scale use of explosive weapons in populated areas as the most significant cause of the mass displacement of Syrians.Sign up
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This report features in-depth interviews of more than 200 Syrian refugees in Lebanon who confirm and detail the devastating and lasting social and economic effects of the use of explosive weapons. Over half of the refugees interviewed were displaced within Syria before fleeing to Lebanon, experiencing consequences ranging from personal injury to the death of one of more family members, the destruction of homes, infrastructure and/or livelihoods. The report finds women are most vulnerable.Sign up
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Older, disabled, and injured Syrian refugees are being doubly victimized as a result of the Syria conflict, according to a new report by Humanity & Inclusion and HelpAge International. The new data show that these vulnerable individuals, as well as those suffering from chronic diseases, are being left in the shadows of the humanitarian responses.Sign up
With support from the Australian Government, this study was carried out between October 2017 and January 2018, in areas with high concentrations of Syrian refugees such as Bekaa and Baalbek-Hermel governorates of Lebanon. We reached 506 households with 2,495 people in Lebanon. Participants were randomly selected to join the study.
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More than 60% of Syrian refugee households include a person with disability, and 1/5 of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan have a disability, according to a new study by HI and iMMAP. The survey ran from 2017-2018, and so far has resulted in two reports, four fact sheets and a Data Dashboard that provide statistical figures on people with disabilities among Syrian refugees and their access to humanitarian aid.