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Syrians given haven from war by RAK firm

posted on 23/06/2013: 1224 views

About 6,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war will move into new homes built and donated by a UAE company this week.

Almost 1,000 modular homes, four schools, two rehabilitation clinics and two mosques have been built on the border with Turkey by a Ras Al Khaimah humanitarian solutions company for refugees who have escaped the two-year conflict.

The homes are large enough for a family of six, while the schools can accommodate 1,600 children.

They will be opened officially in Kilis-Elbeyl on Wednesday.

"The Syria situation is just rolling on," said Ben Long, managing partner of Modular and Mobile Solutions.

"It is a very difficult situation. Borders and political factors come into play. It's all about breaking these borders and working together.

"Let us do something ourselves. We don't have to rely on the United Nations to do it. Things have to got to change. We have the know-how, the people, the resources and the money. The solutions are there."

The UN's Global Trends report, released last week, found there were 45.2 million refugees spread all over world as of the end of last year, with Syria among the top five nations from which refugees flee.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates more than a million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries to escape the fighting.

It warned that this number is increasing, with more than 363,000 people seeking safety in Turkish refugee camps alone.

Modular and Mobile Solutions said its US$6 million (Dh22m) community project, funded by a Kuwaiti charity, was the first of its kind in the region.

Each home, measuring 21 square metres, consists of two rooms and a wash area.

The schools built by the company will meet the educational needs of pupils in different grades.

The buildings' design uses high-quality modular technology that can be installed quickly. They can also be easily dismantled and moved.

"It takes no time," said Mr Long. "Everything has been designed to be built quickly and taken out.

"We prepare the panels and ship them to the Syrian border. We managed to build our project in four months. It is like a piece of jigsaw. It's pre-cut, slotted together and tightened."

The company plans to open an office at International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai by the end of the month.

It will meet charities in the UAE to discuss plans to build more refugee accommodation, mobile hospitals, schools, mosques, orphanages and bakeries where most needed.

IHC hosts the UNHCR's biggest stockpile of emergency relief items in the world. Goods are regularly shipped from warehouses in Dubai to countries in need. – The National - Read more:

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