From providing medicines to fighting fires - Russia helps to rebuild Syria

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Mikhail Petrosyan, the co-founder of the project “Humanitarian Monitor” and the “Humanitarian Map” portal about Russian humanitarian aid to Syria

“At our portal “Humanitarian Map” we collect records from open sources relating to humanitarian and developmental assistance from by the Russian state, business and non-profit organization. In Syria, alone in 2020, we managed to gather evidence of more than three dozen such acts.

At the same time, it is worth mentioning two points that characterize Russian assistance to the Syrian state. Firstly, the collected data demonstrates the Russian state, business and society join forces to improve the circumstances for the Syrian. Our map illustrates every act of humanitarian assistance, whether it is carried out by the authorities, Russian organizations and business associations, or the non-profit organizations.

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And the second important point is the versatility of the Russian humanitarian aid: from countering coronavirus infection and supplying food products, to responding to natural emergencies and implementing development programs in the education and the economic sectors.

We have recorded large volumes of humanitarian aid through the Russian Ministry of Defense. For example, in May, about 850 tons of food aid were delivered to Tartus, and in October, military transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces, based in Khmeimim, helped to extinguish fires in the forests of mountainous Latakia. In our database, you will find numerous facts of humanitarian aid to Syria through the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties.

Another example, this time of humanitarian involvement of a business association, is the charitable mission of the Russo-Syrian Business Council "From Russia with Love", organized with the support of Rossotrudnichestvo and with the participation of the Russian Association for the Development of Friendly and Business Relations with Syria. As part of this large-scale program hundreds of tons of food were distributed among the Syrian population across the most affected Syrian cities and provinces.

The data we have collected captures important activity on the part of Russian nongovernmental organizations - the Russian Humanitarian Mission regularly responds to problems related to food shortages, and also implements educational initiatives.

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In addition, our database contains evidence of several humanitarian aid programs carried out by RUSSAR charitable organization and the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. A perfect example is their joint effort to deliver humanitarian aid to the Syrian Ministry of Health in July. It supplied essential equipment to combat COVID-19, including artificial respiration apparatus, scrubs for medical personnel, temperature measuring devices, PPE, disinfectants, antiseptics, and various medicines.

I was in Damascus in 2018 to see the situation with my own. I felt what Syria went through and realized how far it still needs to go to heal and recover. Such an undertaking is impossible to complete alone, which is why Russia is there to help. "