Sheffield man works to ease trauma of refugees

Ianto Jones
Ianto Jones
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A Sheffield man is at the forefront of a humanitarian effort to give aid to thousands of stricken children and adults in Amman.

The former pupil of Meersbrook Bank Junior School is working with international aid agencies in Amman, Jordan, to ensure vital UK supplies reach people affected by the conflict in Syria, which is now in its sixth year.

As the Deputy Head of the Jordan office at the Department for International Development, Ianto Jones directs UK aid and expertise to help the country cope with 655,000 refugees who have arrived from neighbouring Syria, and make sure they get some support.

Care and counselling to traumatised children, along with basic education, is needed along with food rations, medicine, sanitation products and clean water. The crisis has left 13.5 million people in need of this sort of humanitarian help inside Syria, and more than half of them are children.

Mr Jones, 33, studied at the University of Liverpool. He spent Christmas in Amman and said he would miss seeing his sister’s children and catch-ups with friends and family at the pub.

But he added: “The humanitarian situation in Syria doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas, so neither can we.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: “The whole country can be proud of brave Brits like Ianto who choose to work in some of the world’s most dangerous and challenging places, to save lives and to help the world’s poorest.

“Britain will not stand by as men, women and children suffer unimaginable horrors in Syria and across the region.”

He continued: “I commend my colleagues who have spent Christmas doing vital work overseas, ensuring aid reaches those who need it most.”

Syria is the world’s biggest and most urgent humanitarian crisis. The size of the UK’s response is unprecedented with £2.3 billion pledged. The UK responded from 2011 and continues to drive others to step up and act similarly.