Deir ez-Zour is located in the east of Syria on the Euphrates River and was under siege by ISIS militants for more than three years until the siege was broken in September 2017 by government forces, which subsequently allowed the Syrian regime to take the city by November of that year.
Meanwhile, east of the Euphrates, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) managed to oust ISIS from large sections of the province of Deir ez-Zour, with their campaign to liberate the entire area east of the Euphrates River from the group continuing in earnest.
Under ISIS, civilians reported that they were frequently subjected to torture, forced marriage and sexual slavery, extortionate taxations, punishment by beating and amputation and public executions as well as being used as human shields, among other atrocities. Now that large parts of the province have been liberated by the group, people living in displacement camps across the country have begun to return home.
The reconstruction efforts in the city of Deir ez-Zour and in a number of towns and villages in the provinces have begun. However, despite ISIS’ defeat, the humanitarian situation remains precarious for many Syrians living in the province. Many civilians find themselves without the necessary humanitarian support such as food, clothing and medicine.
One of the most pressing crises affecting life in the province is the lack of access to medicine for many people especially in the villages, far away from the the urban focal points in Deir ez-Zour. The majority of people have no access to hospital care and very few NGOs are able to provide assistance for the vulnerable in the province.
However, with the establishment of the pharmaceutical warehouse by local pharmacists in the town of al-Tayyana east of Deir ez-Zour, thousands of villagers in the eastern areas of the province have access to vital medicine. This will help improve the health situation for dozens of villages which don’t have access to any form of healthcare.