£10m in aid for Raqqa ‘lifeline’
BRITAIN has announced a £10m aid package to end the “death sentence” innocent people in the liberated Syrian city of Raqqa still face from Islamic State (IS) booby-traps and war wounds.
The city, described by the Government as “the head of the snake” of the so-called caliphate claimed by IS, was formally liberated on Friday when a group of militia factions, declared victory over the group.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel called on the international community to follow the UK in helping the hundreds of thousands who were forced to leave with nothing and are suffering lifethreatening injuries and trauma after years of violence, bombing and landmines across the city.
Others have been held hostage by IS, also known as Daesh, or forced into hiding.
The UK money will help clear landmines and restock hospitals so displaced Syrians can eventually return home and those in the city can rebuild their lives.
Ms Patel said: “Daesh’s iron grip on the city of Raqqa has stolen the lives of too many innocent people and now that this evil regime has been driven out, it is absolutely crucial that the international community helps them.
“After years of barbaric and indiscriminate violence by Daesh, the liberation of Raqqa offers a glimmer of hope – but defenceless men, women and children still face a brutal death from lethal landmines or wounds
“UK aid is providing a lifeline for countless Syrians who have lost absolutely everything.” The British aid package will: Clear landmines and lethal explosives;
Restock hospitals and mobile surgical units with medicines and equipment;
Provide 145,000 medical consultations, including for the wounded and starving, and psychological support for 1,600 people traumatised by the horror of war;
Provide 31,000 relief kits, including cooking equipment and blankets for displaced people;
Improve access to clean water for 15,000, with jerry cans and water-purifying tablets to prevent disease; and,
Help pregnant women with 1,000 clean delivery kits.
The aid will be delivered by British partners already working in Syria.