Eastern Ghouta: HEKS provides 500,000 francs in emergency aid for displaced people in Syria

The fighting in Eastern Ghouta has already caused over 50,000 people to flee their homes. They are in fragile health and a humanitarian disaster could well be looming. HEKS/EPER, the aid organization of the Swiss Protestant Churches, together with its local partner organization GOPA have been distributing food and toiletries to 21,700 displaced people.

Located near the Syrian capital Damascus, Eastern Ghouta has been under rebel control since 2013. The Syrian army laid siege to the region, cutting it off almost entirely from the outside world. Some 400,000 people had virtually no access to food, drinking water and medical care. Humanitarian aid made it through to the trapped population only sporadically.
In February 2018 the armed fighting intensified. After a series of rebel attacks the Syrian army launched an initiative to take Eastern Ghouta. Over 1,600 civilians were killed and thousands wounded. Public infrastructure was completely destroyed. Meanwhile, over 50,000 people have fled Eastern Ghouta.
Nothilfe in Ost-Ghouta. Die Bevölkerung braucht unsere Hilfe
KEYSTONE/DPA/Anas Alkharboutli

Food and toiletries

Most of the displaced people found refuge in camps in Dweir, Herielleh and Adra, where they are living in precarious circumstances. There has been a sustained flow of refugees as newly displaced people arrive every day. The humanitarian aid provided by UNHCR and other charities is by no means enough to meet the most pressing needs. Most of the displaced people fled without  any of their belongings. The items in particularly short supply are food, drinking water, hygiene articles, medicaments and clothing.

The four-year siege of Eastern Ghouta and the limited access to food and medical care have left their mark on people. They are in extremely fragile health. Many are malnourished, especially women and children. At the moment, HEKS/EPER and its local partner organization GOPA are therefore providing survival assistance for three months and are supporting 4,000 especially needy families as well as 1,700 children with food packages and toiletries worth some 500,000 francs. These will benefit 21,700 people altogether.

Verteilung in Ost-Ghouta. Syrien helfen.

HEKS/EPER helping in Syria

HEKS/EPER has been active in the region since 2013, first in Lebanon, then since 2015 also in Northern Iraq, and in Syria since 2016. The local partner organization GOPA (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East) has been providing humanitarian assistance since the outbreak of fighting in Syria. GOPA is a church organization with a broad network and operates independently of the Syrian government.

Further information (in German)


HEKS/EPER donation account: 80-1115-1, with mention of «Emergency aid Syria»

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Olivier Schmid
Contact us
Olivier Schmid

Phone: 044 360 88 27
E-Mail: olivier.schmid@heks.ch