In a remarkable display of solidarity and unity, 121 nonprofit organizations working in North and East Syria issued an urgent call to international organizations for help in the Coronavirus crisis. The text of this letter is below:

OPEN LETTER TO WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION FROM THE NGO SECTOR OF NORTH AND EAST SYRIA

April 2, 2020

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General
Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, World Health Organization Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean
Mr. Dainius Pūras, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Dear Dr. Ghebreyesus, Dr. Al-Mandhari, and Mr. Pūras

We, the 121 undersigned local and international organizations and institutions working in north and eastern Syria (NES), are following with deep concern the prevalence of Coronavirus COVID-19 worldwide and in countries neighboring Syria recently. NES which is partially besieged and already suffers severe shortage of medical services, supplies and personnel and the suspension of humanitarian aid provided across the borders, faces the new threat of the coronavirus COVID-19 with many local and international organizations declaring their failure to contain the virus.

NES hosts more than 4,000,000 citizens, including more than 1,000,000 IDPs, in need for service, medical and health aid. More than 100,000 of the IDPs live in 11 camps and thousands of the ISIS foreign fighters’ families live in very bad humanitarian conditions in Al Howl Camp.

Authorities and humanitarian organizations have sounded the alarm, especially as COVID-19 detecting laboratory tests are available only in Damascus which requires the autonomous administration to surrender to its authority; and Ras Al-Eyn which is controlled by Turkey-backed factions that recently attempted to cut off the water lines serving the cities of (Al Hassakah, Tal Tamer, Al Howl, and Al-Arisha), which increases the risks of infection as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated.

Reports by international organizations and UN agencies working in NES refer to severe shortage of laboratory equipment required for virus-detection tests, and medical equipment and supplies. According to the International Rescue Committee, total number of beds available in the intensive care units of all the hospitals is 28, and only 2 doctors are trained on how to use the ventilators, which will result in a humanitarian catastrophe if the virus widely spreads under the current conditions.

We, local and international civil society organizations working in North and Eastern Syria, declare our solidarity with all international bodies working to limit the prevalence of Coronavirus, and call the World Health Organization and all concerned international organizations to:

– Achieve quick response and provide local organizations and entities with the support necessary for Corona COVID-19 prevention.
– Provide COVID-19-detecting devices.
– Set up proper quarantine facilities.
– Provide the hospitals in the autonomous administration area with the required equipment, including the intensive care units’ equipment.
– Provide medical teams to help and train the medical staff in those hospitals.
– Provide personal protective equipment for health sector workers.

Kind regards,
The Undersigned
(listed in alphabetical order)

1. Adel Center for Human Rights
2. AFRIN Post – Media Network
3. Al-Furat Relief and Development Organization
4. Al-Baghooz Hope Organization
5. Al-Hassakah Organization for Relief and Development
6. ARAS Charity Association
7. Ashti Centre for Peacebuilding
8. ASO Center for Consultancy and Strategic Studies
9. ASO News Network
10. ATAA Bagoz Organization
11. ATAA for Development Organization
12. AZORA AL-FORAT Organization
13. Bahar Organization
14. Basmet Amll for Development
15. Better Life Association
16. Board of Education in NES
17. Bridges of Love for Development
18. Civil Society Organizations
19. Dan for Relief and Development
20. Dernaa for Development
21. Doctors Union of Al-Jazeera Region
22. DOZ International
23. Drivers Union in NES
24. Education Organization
25. Electrical Engineers Union in Manbaj
26. Engineer Syndicate in NES
27. Engineering For Service Organization
28. Ensaf for Development
29. Eridu Center for Civil Society and Democracy
30. Ezdina Foundation
31. Federation of Chambers of Commerce in Northern and Eastern Syria
32. Federation of Contractors in Kobani
33. Free Woman Stand in Syria
34. Future for Development Organization
35. Gav for Relief and Development
36. Gender Studies and Information Organization
37. General Drivers’ Union in Manbij
38. Goal Humanitarian Organization
39. Hajen Technologists’ Organization
40. Hevy for Relief and Development
41. Hitma Organization for Cultural Social Development
42. HLOM-Development-Organization
43. Hope Makers Organization
44. Hope Smile Organization
45. House of Citizenship
46. Human Rights Organization in Furat
47. Human Rights Organization in Syria – MAF
48. Humanitarian Hope Team
49. Inaash Organization for Development
50. Injaz Program
51. Inmaa Al-Furat Organization
52. Intellectuals Union in Al-Jazeera region
53. International Organization for the Care of War and Disaster Victims (IPV)
54. Jesmin Charity
55. JINAR for Aid and Development
56. Jiyan Charity
57. Jomard Charity
58. Judy Charity for Development and Relief
59. Justice and Building Center
60. Keskayi Organization
61. Khayr Charity
62. Khwtwa Association for Relief and Development
63. Kobane Contractors Union
64. Kurdish Committee for Human Rights – Observer
65. Lawir Organization for Animal Protection
66. Maat For Peace, Development and Human Rights Association
67. Mesopotamia for Development and Studies
68. Mitan Center to Revive Civil Society
69. NABD Organization
70. Nawat Organization
71. Neuro-Linguistic Programming
72. New Horizons Organization
73. NGO Platform in NES
74. Organization Human Rights Afrin-Syria
75. Oxygen Shabab Movement
76. Ozone Organization
77. Peace She Leaders Network
78. PÊL- Civil Waves
79. PLATFORM Organization
80. Platform Syrische Kurdin in Nederland
81. Qanadil Al-Amal Association
82. Raja Association
83. Raqqa Workers Union
84. Rawabt Al-Amal Association for Development
85. ROJ KAR for Relief and Development
86. Rojava Relief and Development Organization
87. Rojavayê Kurdistan
88. SAM for Development Organization
89. Sanabel Al-Jazeera Organization
90. SANAD FOR PEACEBUILDING
91. Sara Organization to Combat Violence Against Women
92. Shamal Charity Association
93. Shams Al-Amal Organization
94. Shams for Rehabilitation and Development
95. Shan for Development and Youth
96. Shar for Development
97. Silav Center for Civil Activities
98. SMART Center for Mental Health and Human Development
99. Swaaid for Development Organization
100. Swaedna Organization for Relief and Development
101. Syrian Center for Studies and Dialogue
102. Syrian Kurd Journalist’s Union
103. Syrians for Truth and Justice-STJ
104. Taa Marbouta Foundation
105. TARHAM for Development and Bidding Organization
106. Tayif Organization
107. Teachers Union in Al-Jazeera Region
108. Teachers Union of Raqqa
109. The Civil Cooperation Team
110. The National Association for the Rehabilitation of Syrian Women
111. The Syrian Youth Alliance to Activate Security Council Resolution 2250 Syria
112. Together for Al-Jarniya
113. Totol Foundation for Relief and Development
114. Transportation Syndicate in Al-Tabqaa
115. Türkmen Derneği
116. United Farmers in Al-Jazeera (UFG)
117. Union of Engineers in Manbij and Its Countryside
118. Union of Pharmacists of Northern and Eastern Syria
119. WAMDA for Development, Training & Consulting
120. Weqaya Organization
121. Xunav Association

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE OPEN LETTER:
E-mail: info@ngoplatform.org
Website: www.ngoplatform.org