The protracted civil war in Syria has triggered one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history and has set of one of the largest cases of forced displacement of people ever recorded. 11 million Syrians have been displaced as a result of the war, which accounts for half of the whole population of the country. 6 million of which are displaced within Syria.
Several makeshift camps have been set up as a result of the this crisis. However, many of them lack the most basic and vital supplies, and as the winter conditions become increasingly harsh, life for these Syrians becomes more and more unbearable.
The situation is made worse by the fact that many of the official camps set up by local and international organisations do not have enough space to accommodate the growing flow of displaced people. This has forced many to settle in isolated and barren areas near the organised camps. They have erected makeshift camps that lack the most vital necessities to live and cope with the harsh and unpredictable climate. These displaced people have no drinking water and no heating equipment.
This is especially the case in the province of Aleppo, where according to local sources there are 13 organised camps in Aleppo’s northern countryside that are home to 109,849 people, and there are 23 impromptu camps that were set up after the organised camps were filled up, holding 61,813 people.
However, despite the bleak situation, hundreds of thousands have begun to return to their homes, as the fighting decreases and stability returns to many previously war torn areas. According to a report by the United Nation’s Refugee Agency, nearly half a million displaced Syrians have returned to their homes across the country in the first half of 2017.
In addition, around 31,000 refugees in neighbouring countries had also returned bringing to 260,000 the number of refugees who have returned to the country since 2015.