Difficult living situations and inhumane conditions… people of Maarrat al-Nu’man and rescue teams appeal to organizations to improve their conditions • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Difficult living situations and inhumane conditions… people of Maarrat al-Nu’man and rescue teams appeal to organizations to improve their conditions

The local council in Maarrat al-Nu’man city in the southern countryside of Idlib, issued on Sunday, the 6th of October 2019, a statement pointing out to the poor living conditions of the city’s residents who returned after the Russian declaration of a ceasefire, the statement called on all humanitarian organizations operating in the Syrian north to reactivate their work in the southern countryside of Idlib and to provide assistance to the people who have newly returned to their villages and towns.

The statement says: “After Russia declared a ceasefire, 80% of residents of Maarrat al-Nu’man returned to their homes. The current population is 90000 residents and 17500 displaced people, in the light of difficult circumstances after most of the organizations in the area stopped their support, particularly in the health and education areas, only health centers remained in Maarrat al-Nu’man city, noting that these centers serve the area in full not only people of the city”, the statement also said: “and from this place we appeal to all humanitarian organizations to return to work in the area and provide the necessary support for the people, most of whom have no income, where the burdens are great and the civil institutions operating on the ground cannot handle them.” In a testimony to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights by a local council worker, he says: “there are currently about 90000 people in the city, who are in a truly tragic situation. And regarding the living conditions; there are great difficulties for the city’s people due to the lack of employment opportunities and high prices in general, and most organizations have stopped their support, especially in the fields of relief, health, and education. For electricity, people rely on private generators to provide electricity, but the number of hours in which the electricity is available are only 7 hours. As for water, civilians get it from surface and sea wells through tankers, SAMS and Syria Relief have not stopped supporting hospitals and health centers in the city, while the rest of the organizations have stopped.

But recently, as most of the health centers in the area have been suspended, there has been considerable pressure on hospitals and centers in the city, where the health centers and hospitals do not serve city’s people only; but also the nearby cities and villages, and the city has been severely damaged in residential buildings and structures, and the local council and civil defense are removing rubble, repairing sewage, and servicing civilians with all available resources.” In his testimony to the Syrian Observatory, a member of the civil defense in the city said: “within the available possibilities, we, members of the civil defense in Maarrat al-Nu’man city, are working to remove the rubble and clean mosques, schools, and hospitals, remove and destroy remnants of the war, and respond to all calls of civilians from putting out fires, to filling water tankers for drinking, and all ambulance cases, such as diseases and traffic accidents in addition to injuries who fall by the repeated ground shelling on the city despite the truce.

One of the most prominent difficulties facing the work of civil defense teams in the city; is the repeated shelling of residential communities in the first place, also the reconnaissance drones barely leave the area.” one of the residents of Maarrat al-Nu’man said in his testimony for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: “since we returned to the city, we have been living in very harsh humanitarian conditions, where we hardly secure ourselves because of the presence of reconnaissance drones 24 hours in the air, the frequent bombing of the city by regime’s nearby checkpoints, a significant scarcity of drinking water, and very high price of food, and there is no good markets as before, the sanitation is very bad, and the destruction is everywhere. We call on all active organizations to go to the city and provide as much food, medical, and therapeutic assistance as possible, also drinking water must be delivered, roads opened, and the city must be cleaned from rubble, and we also appeal for the support of educational, medical, and service facilities, to better activate their role.” The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate due to the absence of support for civilians in Maarrat al-Nu’man, where civilians are calling on all humanitarian organizations, civil bodies, and concerned authorities to look at them and help them continue their presence there and not have to displace again, not because of shelling and escalation this time, but because of the poor living conditions.

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