More than 3 Million are Injured in Syria; A Comprehensive File; and A Mock Management

More than 3 Million are Injured in Syria; A Comprehensive File; and A Mock Management

In 2017, the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 3 million people in Syria are war-injured, and are suffering from disabilities at different levels. That is, nearly 15% of the population in Syria back then were living with the pain and the direct consequences of war on their bodies. The vast majority of them are forgotten, and they are not surrounded by any “special care” or compensation, not even by the cameras of international organizations.

According to the joint report of the World Health Organization and Handicap International that works in the field of physical disabilities, the Syrian war was causing an average of 30 thousand injured Syrians every single month during the first six years of the crisis. Half of them had relatively overcome their injuries, and the other half suffered permanent injures, 86 of whom are amputees. According to the report, nearly one-third of the injured will suffer from permanent disabilities with poor treatment capacity, particularly due to the lack of sufficient physiotherapy centers.   

According to the survey of the report, 90% of the injured survivors of explosions and war operations do not work, especially men in working age. While, one-third of the injured are children, who are suffering from social, educational and health difficulties, whether inside the country or in the countries of asylum and its camps. The file of the injured with its figures is one of the most damaging and comprehensive in Syria, a country that needs hundreds of billions according to most estimates, while it receives relief by less than 3 billion annually through international relief channels (which cannot cover the severe hunger crisis that is placed first among concerns, although nearly half of the relief programs are allocated to food). This makes health relief very limited, particularly when requirements get complicated and become non-urgent, as in the case of injured people who have been injured for years, during which they lived forgotten with their disabilities.

Some surveys of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan indicated that 22% of refugees suffered from disabilities at different levels, 6% of them had severe disabilities, and nearly half of these disabilities were physical, while the other half were psychological and mental, and these were in surveys that date back to 2014. According to another survey in 2016 of refugees and displaced persons inside Syria, 24% of the studied sample recorded wounds and injuries due to the conflict, more than 17% of them were children, while 15% had their limbs amputated and 5% were paralyzed, i.e., nearly 1250 people were paralyzed out of a studied sample of only 68 thousand people! So, if this was the estimated proportion among civilians, including refugees and displaced persons, what will be the case among the military and the youth who were in the midst of the battles?!

 

The Injured and the Government; A lot of Publicity, A Little Work

The Syrian state apparatus deals with the file of the injured only from the side of the military, while it is determined that the compensations of the injured civilians are neglected and there is no ability to deal with them. First, there is no declared government estimate of the number of the injured and the level of their injuries, just like many critical social files that have no announced figure, despite the availability of government data. However, generally, government estimates on other aspects give some indication on the quantity of disabilities in Syria. Based on the figures of those unable to work among the work force in Syria, i.e., those between the ages of 15-64 years old, there were 184 thousand people unable to work in 2019, distributed almost equally between males and females, which indicate that a big proportion of them are civilians. Most of these people are suffering from severe disabilities that make their ability to work non-existent, and they constitute 6% of the overall number of the injured estimated by the UN in 2017. These people could have supported nearly one million people, but in their situation, they are the ones who need support.  

Government welfare and subsistence services are limited to the injured from the military, and of course not to all of them, as even in the file of the military, these young Syrians are not treated in the same way, and those who belong to the Ministry of Defense are different from those who belong to the Ministry of Interior, and from the hundreds of thousands who fought with the military forces formed when the crisis started called the "national defense". Practically, the injured that belong to the regular military forces in the Syrian army receive free medical services and medicines through military hospitals, with indications of the declining levels of these services, such as reducing the number of hours for physiotherapy and reducing the compensations of families. Other military forces were included in the compensation and pension system only through a series of resolutions during the past two years, whose executive instructions have been issued last year. Until now, their data is being compiled and their medical files are being re-examined by presenting them to the committees, to re-evaluate the level of their injuries and allocate pensions to them.

According to the platforms concerned with this matter, the Ministry of Defense, for example, has drawn up a list of those included so far according to Law 26 of 2019 which is called, multiple injuries for the injured demobilized military for whom pensions and injury compensation are issued, and the lists included 500 names only. While other lists that belong to “Jarih al-Watan” [meaning: “The Wounded of The Motherland”] project included 2151 names from the People’s Defense Forces, and these are only part of those who registered their names and of the injured with a disability rate between 40 – 65%, while 630 registered names from these forces preceded them and joined the project, which has become the main gateway to supporting the injured military. Total figures are not announced, total expenditure and allocations are not announced, while much of the announcement is focused on meetings, receptions and honors.

Finally, the injured of total disability from the military in Syria now receive a compensation pension of about 120 thousand Syrian pounds per month. While the injured with an injury rate between 40 – 65% now receive a compensation of 80 thousand Syrian pounds per month. In return for this compensation, it should be recalled that the cost of the necessary food for one person in Syria has become 133 thousand Syrian pounds per month, and after the inflation, a young man with a total disability in Syrian battles is unable to cover his food expenses.

The file of the injured in Syria is a wide file, and it could be one of the most comprehensive files whose damages have affected all the Syrian society. Despite their differences, they share the great suffering caused by the injury and unemployment of one member of the family in these difficult circumstances, especially if he/she was young and in the prime of life. More than 3 million, half of them with a permanent disability will need comprehensive and wide social relief programs to which financial resources and human forces are allocated at a later stage. Today, these people are living in a state of waiting that is harsher than what we all are living, while incomplete and unreliable publicity projects are taking place on the ground, which are so far devoting their efforts to part of the injured, limited to the military, covering a small number of these disabled young people, and providing them with sums that cannot cover the food needs of one person in Syria, while the needs of a partially or completely disabled person far exceed the needs of food!

(Arabic Version)

Last modified on Monday, 30 August 2021 20:42
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