Imtiaz Sooliman: ‘Charities struggling to deliver crucial aid to besieged Ghouta’

By Al Qalam Reporter

Aid agencies are finding it extremely difficult to deliver basic food and medical supplies inside the besieged Syrian district of Ghouta, says Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, head of Gift of the Givers.

Hundreds of innocent people, including scores of children have died in the relentless bombing campaign by the brutal Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“With 400 000 people trapped, the numbers are increasing as people flee in absolute fear from neighbouring districts in the face of Assad’s advancing armies. They are no match for the relentless attack from air and land. The fatalities and number of injured are escalating exponentially. The guns are silent for only three hours a day within which time people surface from cellars and underground tunnels to do what’s possible.”

Sooliman said his charity, Gift of the Givers, have adopted “The Cave” and “Save the Soul” hospitals in Kafr Batna, regarded as the most dangerous district of Eastern Ghouta.

“We have set up a five member team to co-ordinate medical relief, food aid and provision of baby milk powder. All these items are very expensive and very difficult to come by but we have to find a way.
“Every aspect of relief has to be implemented within those three hours of ceasefire. Thus far we have assisted 2000 individuals with food aid and provided supplies to the two hospitals. The first 25kg of baby milk powder (a commodity almost impossible to find) was purchased today. The pictures are not ideal as the situation is extremely dangerous if people try to gather in one spot to receive something. They are bombed instantly. Our photographer has lost six family members this week, the medical members have lost a manager at another hospital and two of the young children working with their mother, our food coordinator, lost one of their teacher’s, also in the week.

“With the coming of the three blessed months of Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan we are increasing our efforts. But the reality is that only the acceptance of fervent prayer can prevent total annihilation of all the occupants in Eastern Ghouta. May Almighty Allah be with them.” Sooliman added.

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