13 children have already died in the freezing conditions in the Rukban camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border due to the winter weather and lack of aid.
While the winter season is usually a festive time for many people, Syrian children in the Rukban camp and other IDP and refugee camps see the winter season as a factor furthering their suffering.
Displaced Syrians and refugee have been harshly affected by this winter’s storms and low temperatures. Since the start of the winter season, Syrians living in camps scattered throughout the country and nearby countries have had their tents flooded and broken down by the cold wind and rains. These worsening conditions have affected Syrian children the most.
According to a recent report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), over 15 Syrian children have died this winter season, 13 of whom are infants under than age of 1. UNICEF warned that more children would die if aid is not delivered in time for the upcoming storms that will soon be reaching the region.
Of the 15 children who died this month, eight lived in the Rukban camp in the southern desert region between the Syrian-Jordanian border.
The Rukban camp, which hosts about 50,000 displaced Syrians, has received very little aid after Jordan closed its borders with Syria in 2016.
The first delivery of aid to the camp since 2016 took place in November 2018 after the Syrian regime allowed a UN convoy to enter the area.
However, these deliveries did little to reduce the suffering of the displaced Syrians. According to the UN, the delivery consisted mainly of food and medicine, which was given to residents of the Rukban camp.
Since then very little humanitarian aid has been sent to the residents who are in need of blankets, heaters and other necessities to fight off the cold.
The situation of the residents of the Rukban camp is not very different to camps located in throughout the country’s northern and western regions.
On the border with Lebanon, families had to evacuate their tents as a result of the flooding that occurred due to Storm Norma, which hit the region two weeks ago. In the Adma region on the Syrian-Turkish border, over 700,000 displaced Syrians, most of whom are women and children, are suffering from the cold weather and lack of humanitarian assistance.
With the winter season not over yet, the lives of thousands of Syrian children are still at risk due to the ill-equipped camps and the lack of aid deliveries by international organisations.