The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Makeshift camps in western Deir Ezzor | Displaced people struggle with poor services and deteriorating healthcare as winter approaches

A large number of makeshift camps are scattered in SDF-controlled villages in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor. These camps accommodate thousands of people who have been forced to be displaced for four years following violent battles by regime forces and their proxies on their areas with the aim of capturing the western bank of Euphrates river.


In this context, SOHR sources have reported that the western countryside of Deir Ezzor hosts seven makeshift camps accommodating nearly 2,693 families who are distributed to several gatherings according to the area they hail from. Those camps are as follows:


  • “Safirah Tahtani” camp which accommodates nearly 187 families.


  • “Mahatet Al-Qetar” camp which accommodates 69 families.


  • “Al-Jazarat” camp which accommodates approximately 10,600 families.


  • “Hawayij Bosam’a and Hawayij Ziab” camp which accommodates 735 families.


  • “Muhaymidah” camp which accommodates 548 families.


  • “Al-Bashir” camp which accommodates 16 families.


  • “Al-Salman” camp which accommodates 78 families.


According to inhabitants of these camps, the camps suffer from very poor services and almost-complete suspension of support provided by humanitarian organisations. There are nearly 7,000 children who have dropped out of school in light of the acute lack of support provided to educational institutions, while some families have sent their children to schools run by the Autonomous Administration.


Speaking to SOHR, a 48-year-old displaced woman from Al-Shamiyyah area in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor and now living in Muhaymidah camp in SDF-controlled areas in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor says, “the cost of getting water for drinking and washing is unaffordable, as the price of a barrel of water exceeds 1,000 SYP. My family of six need a barrel every day, but I cannot should that cost. Also, getting a pack of bread has become very difficult, especially after stealing flour allowances provided to the only bread bakery in the camp. We therefore find ourselves forced to buy flour, when it is available, to bake our bread.”


On the other hand, the camp’s inhabitants frequently called upon international organisations to improve the situation of the displaced people there, establish schools and provide school uniforms and stationaries, but to no avail.


Moreover, those camps suffer from acute shortage of food and essential products, mainly bread, as well as acute shortage of fuel used for heating in winter, which forced displaced people in west Deir Ezzor camps to turned to alternative heating materials. Furthermore, most of the tents are very worn and uninhabitable which pose considerable threats to the inhabitants during the freezing temperatures and spells of harsh weather during this winter; let alone the fact that the camps’ inhabitants will be more venerable to diseases and infections.


Speaking to SOHR, a 65-year-old displaced man from Al-Shawla area, to the south of Deir Ezzor city, and now living in Muhaymidah camp says, “sometimes, I have no money to buy medicine which is sold for a very high price compared to my low income. There are no medical posts in the camp, while many patients, including women, children and elderly people, are struggling with the same problem, especially those who have no breadwinners. In addition, the camp lacks the basic livelihood and essentials, such as drinking water, bread, household gas and diesel used for heating.”


According to SOHR sources, many makeshift camps are scattered in the areas of Al-Ma’amel, Al-Shahabat, Taybah, Ma’ayzilah and Al-Izbah, where camps in those areas accommodate nearly 125,000 displaced people.


Internally displaced persons in Deir Ezzor camps have appealed upon relevant authorities and actors, through SOHR, to pay more attention to their catastrophic situation and their right to enjoy decent standards of living and to put into consideration the dreadful living conditions and challenges that they have faced for over four years.