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Winter is coming, but internally displaced persons in Syria are not prepared

14 8 1
28.09.2020

Waves of internally displaced persons have increased the difficulties of everyday life for civilians in the north-west areas of Syria. Although a ceasefire was agreed in March, civilians in the region still face a new humanitarian crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. To this has to be added spiralling food prices while children continue to sacrifice what’s left of their childhoods to try to get some work so that they can help feed entire families of orphans.

The tents in the overcrowded camps in Idlib filled up again after pro-Assad forces launched an offensive on the sole remaining opposition stronghold last December. Nearly one million Syrians were displaced as a result of continuous Russian-backed air strikes against civilian targets. This was the largest single displacement in nearly 10 years of Syria’s civil war, says the UN. The Syrian government claimed that the goal of its campaign was to rid the area of “terrorists”.

According to aid agencies and rescue workers, however, air strikes have destroyed dozens of hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure. They warn that Idlib’s 3 million people are at risk of an even bigger humanitarian crisis.

“The most heartbreaking thing I have seen,” said Ahmad Al-Qaddour, “is that fathers are crying because they can’t even get a carton of milk for their hungry children.” The director of the Jamiatul-Mizaan charity believes that Idlib could be the worst tragedy of the coronavirus crisis.

“People here cannot protect themselves from the coronavirus,” said Al-Qaddour. “Millions of people are living in overcrowded makeshift camps exposed to raw sewage and with no access to soap and water. There are no medical facilities, no ventilators and social distancing is impossible.”

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© Middle East Monitor


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