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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

Braced for Winter: When Hot Water is No Longer a Luxury


Things are different now. Now, we have a second water tank and we fill it once a week. Today, we pay the same amount each week and it is a lot cheaper than before. And we even have warm water. Winter is coming and my children can at last take hot showers.

Basem says: “I was forced to leave to protect my children from the bombing. I took refuge in Jordan because it was the safest place. There, people hosted us, protected us and our children. I must thank them.”

After a few years of moving from place to place, Basem eventually met a compassionate landlord who helped him as much as he could. But Basem has his family to look after, and his needs remained critical.

“When I apply for jobs, they tell me they cannot hire me because I’m injured. I can’t afford the cost of an operation to get the bullet and the shrapnel out. So, I cannot fully support my children. Although they were top of their class, I had to get my girls out of school to help me make money,” he adds with sadness.

Basem also struggled with reliable access to water and a defect piping system. Through a Trust Fund supported project, he got help from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the French Development Agency (AFD) to revamp his water installations.

He explains: “We went to the NRC, they visited the house and did an assessment. Then, they did the water installations, hot water tank and water taps. Our situation changed a lot afterwards.”

Though he is very grateful for this, Basem remains very preoccupied as to the decreasing level of aid made available to Syrian refugees.

“We received signals that aid will decrease soon. I keep hoping that donor countries won’t forget the Syrian people and bring back the support we so desperately need. Every day, I pray for the Syrian people.”