Siham, a displaced mother from Raqqa has to work tirelessly with her husband to provide for her six daughters in the Ain Issa camp.
Millions of the most vulnerable people in Syria are still living in displacement, especially in provinces that have seen the most devastating fighting taking place such as Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib. The seven-year long war in Syria has devastated most of the major cities in the country and has forced millions out of their homes.
The displaced include children and the elderly many of whom are already living in abject poverty and have very little means of sustaining themselves, and thus rely heavily on humanitarian support. The battle to liberate Raqqa from ISIS militants displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
According to the United Nations’ Refugee Agency, at least 270,000 people fled the fighting in Raqqa, with the bulk of those fleeing in the last six months of the battle. This is on top of the hundreds of thousands of people who were already displaced in the province by ISIS militants.
In camps across the province, widows who have lost their husbands in war are forced to provide for their whole family alone without any support from international humanitarian organisations or local authorities. Many other women have had to provide care for their children as well as work to provide for their families especially in cases where their partner is ageing or has suffered injuries.
Siham Mustafa, a woman from Raqqa currently in the Ain Issa camp works tirelessly to support her husband in providing for her family of six daughters. Her family is given no support and her husband is ageing and can no longer provide for his family on his own.
Siham’s husband, Mohammed Khalaf, explained his family’s situation most succinctly, saying, “When we work we get bread, and on the day when we don’t work, there is no bread. This is our story.”
That is the story of so many internally displaced people who have fled war and conflict and are without aid or support. They must work constantly, despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges to provide for their children and loved ones.