June 2 2003
SOS Children's Villages to begin emergency relief work at Iraqi-Jordanian border
02/06/2003 - Last week, SOS Children's Villages launched its emergency relief programme for some 1,000 Palestinians who fled Iraq to neighbouring Jordan. In co-operation with UNHCR, UNICEF and CARE, SOS Children's Villages will provide aid in the form of educational, cultural and psychological programmes at the refugee camp in Ruwayshid.
The SOS Emergency Relief Programme for refugees from war-hit Iraq was launched on Saturday in the Jordanian town of Ruwayshid. Approximately 1,000 Palestinians, who fled Iraq, have sought shelter at the Ruwayshid refugee camp. Of these, some 450 are children under the age of six. In co-ordination with UNHCR, UNICEF and CARE, SOS Children's Villages will provide aid in the form of educational, cultural and psychological programmes for children and their mothers.
The Palestinians at the Ruwayshid camp had been living in Iraq since 1948 and 1967. They became refugees yet again after the recent fall of Saddam Hussein, which led to insecure living conditions for them in Iraq.
The SOS Emergency Relief Programme will primarily focus on providing psychological care and recreational activities for children between the ages of six and 12 and their mothers, to ensure they can cope with the difficulties of life in a refugee camp. In addition, youths between the ages of 13 and 18 will participate in training programmes on basic life skills as well as team and voluntary work, in order to eventually participate in the daily chores at the refugee camp.
SOS Children's Villages has been well prepared to deliver humanitarian aid since the March 18 outbreak of the war in Iraq, which was declared ended by US President George W. Bush on May 1. At the start of last week, SOS Children's Villages distributed milk for children at the Ruwayshid camp together with the Hashemite Organisation, which is coordinating the refugee crisis on the behalf of the Jordanian government.