30 families live in catastrophic conditions in “Sheikh Ali” camp as the humanitarian organizations forget them
Many villages east of Maarrat al-Nu’man city in the southeastern countryside of Idlib witnessed violent escalation by the regime forces and the Russian “guarantor”, which caused a large displacement from these villages towards the Syrian north, and the displaced people distributed in several areas in the northern countryside of Idlib, where the displaced people east of Maarrat al-Nu’man have set up several random camps, such as the “Sheikh Ali” camp, which is inhabited by displaced people from the east of Maarrat al-Nu’man city, it is a very small camp initially set up by some families after they fled the heavy shelling that targeted their villages and towns.
In his testimony to the Syrian Observatory, one of the people responsible of the camp spoke about his living conditions and the suffering of the families there, saying: “Sheikh Ali camp is a very small camp consists of only 20 tents inhabited by about 30 displaced families from areas east of Maarrat al-Nu’man city in the southern countryside of Idlib, the camp is located north of Ma’arrat Mesrin town in the northern countryside of Idlib and was set up nearly 6 months ago with individual efforts by the displaced people, and despite its small size, the camp suffers from extreme difficult living conditions, where the camp is considered to be completely forgotten and put aside on the margin, it has not been noticed by any humanitarian organization since its establishment, its tents are thick fabric, blankets, and some very worn and used tents, its land is not prepared, it is basically an agricultural land which was not prepared before the camp was built, and it is surrounded by olive trees.”
The source continued: “residents of the camp faced a lot of suffering as the winter came and the rain began, where the camp was flooded and the tents -which were essentially uninhabitable- were severely damaged, and because of the significant increase in the frequency of shelling on areas east of Maarrat al-Nu’man, many civilians are preparing to displace and go to this camp where their relatives live, we do not have the capacity to receive any new family, the camp already suffers a shortage of tents and there are more than one family in one tent, at the beginning of the olive harvest season, the landowner began asking us to evacuate the land or to pay 3000 Syrian Pound from each family to allow us to stay here, so we collected the money and paid it to him, although the situation of the displaced families in this camp is at its worst, there are no jobs, the camp generally lacks a lot of supplies, first, it needs its floor to be prepared and covered with gravel, replace the entire tents and double their number, so that we can welcome more families to the camp, also the camp’s residents need to be provided with drinking water, heating materials, food, supplies and medical supplies, we appeal to humanitarian organizations and officials to support the camp with these needs as soon as possible, as this year’s winter will increase the suffering of families of the camp who have found no alternative because of the high rents of houses and the lack of space in the main camps.”
One of the displaced people in the camp spoke about the difficulty of living there, in his testimony to the Syrian Observatory he said: “I am 52 years old and my family and I have been displaced since the beginning of the escalation on the eastern areas of Maarrat al-Nu’man in the southern countryside of Idlib, I came out of Deir Sharqi village after it was heavily bombed, we gathered in this camp, about 30 families, and worked to create the camp with individual efforts, we have built the camp and until now no humanitarian organization headed towards us or looked at the conditions of the camp, we need a lot of supplies, especially heating materials, it’s getting very cold and so far we’re using worn clothes and nylon bags for heating, we appeal to all humanitarian organizations to go to the camp and help us in the cold winter.”