WASHINGTON — A new report from HelpAge USA and Handicap International says hundreds of thousands of Syria refugees are being left without humanitarian help.
Some of the refugees, who’ve left their homes behind, are disabled or elderly.
“The report is important because it really shines a spotlight on some of these invisible victims of the Syrian conflict, “says Beth MacNairn, executive director of the Takoma Park-based Handicap International U.S.
She says it’s a call to the national and international communities to recognize the “hidden victims” of the ongoing Syrian conflict.
The study also looked specifically at Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
“One in 15 refugees in Jordan is injured seriously because of the conflict. And one in 30 refugees in Lebanon has a serious injury because of the conflict,” MacNairn says.
Many of the people have significant in injuries, such as spinal cord problems or amputations. In all, one in five refugees has a disability or impairment.
Chronic disease, which is being called the silent causality of the conflict, is also a focus of the study.
MacNairn says the information from the report will show the international community, donor nations, the United Nations and humanitarian groups how refugees fall through the cracks. She says she hopes because of the report’s concrete evidence, the victims will no longer be hidden.
According to MacNairn, more than 9 million people are affected by the conflict — more than the population of New York City.