Social and Medical Services Provided by Homs Chamber of Commerce

Homs, (ST)- During the past five years, Homs Chamber of Commerce has translated its practical objectives into reality through several steps, according to Dr. Abdel Nasser Sheikh Fattouh, Head of the Chamber, in terms of the social services provided to the Chamber's members through the establishment of the Medical Fund , the Pension Fund and the Donation Fund , as well as supporting the war-wounded funds and the families of the martyrs, reviving the development and training center, working on rehabilitating the commercial markets in the city center and distributing income-generating equipment.
"Concerning the Medical Fund, the Chamber has signed a protocol of medical cooperation with al- Birr Association and its affiliated social services and hospitals , so that the association and its hospitals will deduct 20% for all surgical operations and hospitalization in general, radiography and surgical analysis to each person holds the Chamber of Commerce card provided that the chamber will rehabilitate the (heart disease) department in the association 's hospital which is located in Al-Wa'er region with an estimated cost of 22.5 million Syrian pounds paid from the chamber savings . In addition, members of the Chamber are entitled to receive 10% free of charge from all the contracts signed with international organizations," Sheikh Fattouh added.
12 million Syrian pounds for martyrs and war wounded
Regarding the donation fund allocated to the families of martyrs and war wounded, Dr. Fattouh clarified that 60% of the fees paid by traders goes to the Foundation of the families of martyrs and war wounded in Homs and the other 40% goes to the Central Institution in Damascus. The transferred amounts reached more than 12 million Syrian pounds last year.
In addition to the donation made by the Chamber to the newspapers and periodicals, especially those interested in economic and commercial affairs, financing the printing of cultural and historical books interested in Homs governorate and spreading historical awareness of its human and geographical components, as well as reviving the Development and Training Center in the chamber, where we dedicated a floor with all its requirements and necessary equipment for carrying out professional courses in management, accounting and information in addition to other training courses for foreign languages and developing personal skills. We have also established an employment center by providing information that connects job seekers and the private institutions which need employees. Thus, the chamber provides employment opportunities by linking job seekers with institutions that fit their qualifications.
Rehabilitation of commercial markets in the city center
Dr. Fattouh believes that the most important work done by the Chamber is the rehabilitation of the commercial markets in the city center stressing that after the liberation of Homs and its commercial center, the Chamber began contacting the international organizations and local government institutions to work on rehabilitating markets and re-establishing the commercial center. A work group of volunteers from university students working under the sponsorship of the chamber, that gave them support and place to continue the work ,which is an engineering survey of the streets, shops and squares of the commercial markets and tabulating them within statistical tables including the shops of each street and the names of owners and the quality of their work and the extent of damage in each store or shop , so as to serve as a complete database required for each entity that wants to work on the rehabilitation of these markets.
He added that these data have helped organizations and associations to provide all that is needed for those affected traders. Thus, work began after the signing of a protocol between the Chamber and the UNDP to remove more than 70.000 Cubic meters of rubble from the streets.
Income-generating equipment has been distributed first to 38 shops in Hamidiya Street and then to 130 other shops in the market of vegetables, (Souk Al-Hashish).
"We also worked on installing doors and shelves, repairing walls, distributing refrigerators, freezers, meat and chickens chopping machines. We are now awaiting the arrival of other equipment from the donor organization to be presented to 130 other professions," he made it clear.
"since the beginning of the work , a committee has been formed comprising members representing the Chamber of Commerce, the Governorate, the City Council , the Electricity and Water Company, the Engineers Union, the Directorate of Antiquities and Sanitation Directorate so to achieve integration in the rehabilitation of markets and the installation of iron roofs on the basis of preserving its heritage as well as highlighting its engineering structure", Dr. Fattouh concluded .


Amal Farhat- Homs