Syria Humanitarian Coalition Expands Amid Concerns of Chemical Weapons Use

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American Relief Coalition for Syria welcomes new members to coordinate humanitarian work

The American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS) announced today the addition of two new members: Karam Foundation and Shaam Relief Foundation, expanding its membership to eighteen US-based relief organizations. As the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, ARCS members are coordinating their efforts to meet the increasing needs of the Syrian people -needs which have grown more desperate in light of the recent confirmation of chemical weapons use on several occasions.

Physicians in Syria working in coordination with Syria-American relief organizations reported that tens of civilians, including women and children, have died and many others have suffered symptoms consistent with exposure to nerve gas in at least seven separate attacks in Homs, Damascus suburbs, Aleppo, and Idlib. These patients, and the medical professionals struggling to help them, need as much coordinated support as the ARCS can provide.

SEE: American doctor gives "proof of chemical weapons use" to U.S. - CNN

In response to these urgent needs, ARCS launched its first public humanitarian campaign last month to help support medical facilities in Homs, Syria. The campaign was in response to an urgent plea from local aid organizations working in Homs, where the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate with basic medical supplies and food items beginning to deplete. The campaign will provide urgent financial assistance to the blockaded populations in Homs and prevent another wave of internal displacement and fleeing of a large number of refugees to Lebanon. So far, donations collected towards this campaign has surpassed half a million dollars.

ARCS, which was formed in early April, is a group of 18 U.S.-based relief and humanitarian organizations whose focus is to facilitate humanitarian assistance for Syria and respond to emergency situations. The Coalition includes the following members:

Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
Syrian Sunrise Foundation (SSF)
Syria Relief and Development (SRD)
NuDay Syria
The Maram Foundation
Swasia Charity Foundation
Zakat Foundation
Syrian Orphans
Hope for Syria
Mercy Without Limits
Life for Relief and Development
Karam Foundation
Shaam Relief Foundation
Syrian American Engineers Association (SAEA)
Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies (SCPSS), advisory member
Syrian Expatriates Organization (SEO), advisory member
Syrian American Council (SAC), advisory member
United Charity, advisory member

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Yassar Bittar
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