Humanitarian crisis worsens as the number of displaced people rises to 1,100,000: SOHR renews calls for international community’s urgent interference
Civilians continue to flee their areas in both Idlib and Aleppo countryside because of regime and Russia military operations. Despite the relative calm, subsiding clashes and regime recent advances, aerial and ground shelling still continues, as a part of the regime and Russia’s systematic policy of forcing more people to abandon their areas.
Syrian Observatory activists have been tracking and documenting the aggravated humanitarian crisis of displaced people throughout Syria, especially in the refugee camps on the border with Iskenderun. Civilians in this area are staying in the open as the overcrowded camps, villages, towns and cities have no capacity to accommodate more people.
On the other hand, humanitarian organizations have been helplessly watching 1,100,000 people being displaced since early December 2019. Meanwhile, bad weather and significant drop in temperatures during this winter worsened the humanitarian situation greatly.
Catastrophic conditions in refugee camps and other areas across Syria claimed the lives of more displaced people. According to SOHR statistics, over nine displaced civilians, mostly children, died as a result of the severe weather conditions in the past few days. The fatalities are as follows:
- A man, his wife and their two young daughters died of smoke inhalation inside their tent in “Deiaa 3” camp, near Killi town in Idlib countryside because of a primitive wood-burner stove’s malfunctions.
- A child from Khan Shaykhun city died of hypothermia in one of Atma’s refugee camps near the border with Iskenderun.
- A little girl from Houriyyah area in the Eastern Ghouta died of hypothermia in an un prepared shelter center near Ma’arata village, west of Afrin.
- Two children perished in “Al-Qatri camp” in a border area in Azaz countryside because of sub-zero tempratures.
- A little girl died when her tent burnt down in “Sheikh Mustafa” refugee camp near Kafr Bunni town.
At a time when displacement is growing catastrophically and humanitarian crisis is worsening, the international community’s reaction still does not live up to expectations. Meanwhile, Turkey language of threats is completely divorced from reality, despite bringing in 7,000 soldiers and more than 2,350 trucks and military vehicles to Syria since early February. Ironically, the Turkish Jandarma killed many displaced Syrians who tried to cross into Turkish territory, fleeing the brutal regime and Russian military operations.
As Russia and Turkey, the “de-escalation” guarantors, fail to keep their promises, we at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights call upon the international community to exert pressure on the two sides to stop implicating civilians in military conflicts and to save them from the unfolding catastrophic humanitarian crisis and inhumane conditions.
We, at the Observatory, also call upon all the relevant international organizations to urgently interfere and save the Syrians from the current phase’s repercussions. We also urge these organizations to control the supply system, which is plagued with corruption, so that the provided supplies reach the intended recipients.