Winter exacerbates difficulties of IDPs in Mabrukah camp in Hasakah

IDPs in the Mabrukah camp, which is located in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah Province, have bemoaned their living conditions and have called on aid agencies to help alleviate their suffering.

Residents say that the decreasing temperatures as winter approaches and a lack of aid in general are causing them great problems. Approximately 9,500 people live among 1,500 tents, with many being young children.

According to some of the camp’s residents, people are burning sponges, nylon bags, and rubbish to make a fire. The burning of rubbish, in particular, is causing issues among the camp’s residents, as many fall ill due to breathing in toxic fumes. However, with a lack of any supplies, many IDPs do what they can to stay warm and survive.

Furthermore, restrictions are also imposed on the IDPs. Many are unable to leave the camp, work, or provide for themselves.

“They gave us food once for two months. We do not have money, we are not allowed to work here, and we cannot leave this perimeter,” said one man. “If you want to go to the village to buy medicine you need permission. Sometimes they allow us and sometimes they do not.”

On Friday, IDPs at the Mabrukah camp protested at their poor living conditions, both in an attempt to raise awareness, as well as push the camp’s administrators to improve their situation, with their living conditions hardly changing in months.

Many other camps in Hasakah and in eastern Syria are also suffering from a lack of internal and external support. The largest of these, the Rukban camp, holds hundreds of thousands of people. However, many of Syria’s camps are suffering from perilous conditions, especially in the winter months, as roads become muddy and the already-limited entry of aid becomes less and less accessible.