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Winter clothes for Syrian refugees stuck in Halifax

A container filled with winter clothes for Syrian refugees is stuck on a dock in Halifax, because the shipper won't send it to camp in Turkey.

Shipping company won’t send container

Tens of thousands of impoverished Syrian refugees living in tents, shacks and unfinished buildings face a miserable winter as aid organizations scramble to meet their needs. An unprecedented storm blanketed parts of Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Israel and even Egypt's deserts with snow, amid icy and rainy winds. (The Associated Press)

A container filled with winter clothes for Syrian refugees is stuck on a dock in Halifax, because the shipper won't send it to a refugee camp in Turkey.

People from across Nova Scotia donated the clothes.

“We wanted to catch the winter before it ends there and hopefully help those refugees because the winter there has been one of the toughest winters in over a hundred years,” said Mohamed Masalmeh, co-founder of the group Justice and Freedom for Syria.

He said something as simple as a winter coat can save the life of a Syrian child.

Somewhere along the rows and rows of shipping containers in Halifax is one filled with winter clothing intended for Syrian refugees. All of it was donated by people across Nova Scotia (CBC)

But Masalmeh recently got an email saying the shipping company ZIM won't send the container, because other shipments have gone unclaimed and abandoned in Turkey.

"These shipments tie up ZIM equipment until local customs can auction the goods and return containers,” read the email. “ZIM will not take the risk to accept more of this type of cargo"

Masalmeh said it’s disheartening because all the work they put in getting the container ready

“The frustration comes from not being able to deliver the goods to the needy people in time,” Masalmeh said.

The group said is will have to empty the container and figure out a new plan.

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