Migration

Winter exacerbates poor conditions for IDP in north Syria

Syria

The weather conditions during the winter season has made the lives of internally displaced people living in IDP camps throughout Syria even more difficult.

The rain and cold weather of the current winter season has exacerbated the already poor conditions of Syrians living in camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees across Syria and its neighbouring countries.

While this has occurred every winter since the start of the Syrian War in 2011, this year, IDPs and refugees say that their conditions are much worse than before. This can be attributed to the lack of aid deliveries due to budget cutbacks and donor fatigue amongst international organisations and relief agencies.

Abu Ma’moun and his family are amongst hundreds of refugees who had to evacuate their tents in a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border, due to the continuous rain.

According to residents of the camp, international aid organisations have not done anything to relieve their suffering and failed to find solutions before the winter season. Residents say that the mud that was caused by the rainfall could have been evaded if aid organisations had paved the campgrounds.

“As you can see our living conditions are [bad] in these tents. [These tents] don’t protect us from anything. Look at the mud here, these tents can’t protect us from rain and wind,” said a displaced Syrian man living in the camp. “If a gust of wind blows, the entire tent breaks down.”

Some estimates say that over 700,000 Syrians across 65 camps in the Adma border region are suffering due to the continuation of the dangerous weather conditions.

A recent UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) statement revealed that at least 15 Syrian children have died in displacement camps in Syria as a result of the freezing temperatures and lack of medical care.

Eight of the 15 children who died during this winter season lived in the Rukban camp in the country’s southwestern desert region near the Jordanian border.

The camp hosts 45,000 displaced Syrians, 80% of whom are women and children.

In nearby Lebanon, dozens of families had to evacuate their tents because the rising waters entered their tents and flooded them.

With the Syrian crisis entering its eighth year, the largest group affected by the continued conflict are displaced civilians, who not only fear the bombings and war, but also the winter weather, which has claimed the lives of their children.