From the news desk

Emergency aid for Aleppo

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Humanitarian agency Gift of the Givers has made an emergency appeal for aid for war stricken Aleppo as the living conditions deteriorates for Syrian residents. Syrian government forces and their allies bombarded insurgents in south western Aleppo on Tuesday, close to where rebels recently opened a corridor into the city’s opposition-held eastern sector.

In the last 72 hours the siege on Aleppo has been broken by opposition forces in Syria. The siege has been in effect since 12 July trapping 300 000 civilians with virtually no access to food, medical supplies and water. The continuous bombing of the besieged area by both Russian and Syrian planes exacerbates an already dangerous situation where the greatest casualties are civilians and the predominant targets are medical facilities.

Gift of the Givers is already under severe strain inside Syria running two hospitals, mobile clinics, a feeding centre, refugee camps and providing food parcels to thousands of families. Medical teams are regularly dispatched to areas of heavy bombing to assist medical personnel in other hospitals to cope with the influx of casualties.

Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said Ar Rahma Hospital and Al Hilal Hospital have also come under attack. Yesterday there was another attempt on Al Hilal Hospital. The hospital got saved but the refugee centre attached to the hospital was struck. Fortunately, there were no refugee families inside the camp at that point, said Sooliman.

“Given this window of opportunity Gift of the Givers is preparing to rush aid into the area using its own network inside Syria. Given the rapidly changing circumstances inside Syria one can never be certain how long this breakthrough will last. It is only prudent that we act decisively and efficiently to rush in as much food as practically possible and as fast as possible. We have no illusions as to the risks involved as the corridor is under constant bombing,” he said.

The two hospitals combined treat around 20 000 patients per month.

“Our greatest need is financial support to manage all these huge, lifesaving, emergency demands on our resources to save lives and heal people.”

Items are purchased in Turkey then delivered across the border into Syria. GOTG teams then take over and deliver at the “safest” possible time through the “safest” possible route, he added.

Any contribution into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account number 052278611, Branch Code 057525 would be most welcome. Please send deposit slip with full contact details to


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