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Winter supplies to be distributed to 4,480 Syrian, Jordanian families

By Muath Freij - Feb 05,2014 - Last updated at Feb 05,2014

AMMAN — Financial hardships and the high cost of living in Amman prevented Um Maisa from buying winter clothes for her children.

"I left Daraa 10 months ago and sought refuge in Amman. Although my children asked me several times to buy them winter clothes, I could not afford to," the Syrian refugee told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

However, the mother of four was able to fulfil her children's request thanks to a campaign launched by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in collaboration with Save the Children Jordan (SCJ).

Under the campaign, which was launched Wednesday, around 4,480 gas heaters, 8,960 blankets and 21,400 packages of winter clothes will be distributed to 4,480 underprivileged Jordanian families and Syrian refugees, according to a SCJ statement.

Families who live in the central and southern regions are expected to benefit from the campaign, SCJ CEO Manal Wazani said.

"Families from the cities of Zarqa, Maan, Karak, Aqaba, the Jordan Valley and Amman will receive these items," she told The Jordan Times during the launching ceremony at SCJ's premises in Nuzha, where 120 kits were distributed.

Wazani stressed that they wanted to reach people who live in the cities, especially in the southern region.

"There are so many people who provide assistance to Syrians in the north, so we wanted to support those who reside in the south," Wazani said, adding that the organisation created focus groups to find out the needs of these families.

"We covered the most essential ones because we cannot cover everything," she noted.

Information about eligible families was obtained from the SCJ database, which includes more than 20,000 Syrian refugees and underprivileged Jordanian families.

The information was collected through SCJ programmes that address education, protection, nutrition and livelihood, according to the statement.

The distribution will prioritise fatherless families, and households that include people with disabilities, two or more children under the age of five, pregnant women or elderly members, the statement said.

Pierre-Yves Fux, the interim Swiss ambassador to Jordan, noted that the winter supplies will make a big difference to the beneficiaries.

"I think in a huge crisis, which is three years long in Syria, there are some concrete needs to be addressed," he told The Jordan Times.

Fux said he was moved by the reaction of the refugees who received assistance on Wednesday, commending the efforts of the "smiling" volunteers who helped distribute the supplies.

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