Established in May 2017, the Tawahina Refugee Camp houses 2400 displaced families who are suffering from lack of supplies and aid.
The collapse of ISIS’ territorial holdings over the course of 2017 and the gradual improvement to security in many parts of Syria has allowed large numbers of Syrians to return to their homes and start rebuilding. Although the situation is a cause for optimism, the fact remains that more than half the country’s population remains displaced. Many such displaced either have nowhere to go. Such is the case in the Tawahina Camp for Displaced People near Tabqa City.
The camp was established in May 2017, around the time the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) defeated ISIS in Tabqa City. ISIS’ territories were unravelling rapidly during that period, with the siege of Raqqa City by the SDF in progress and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) making rapid gains against the militants in Hama, Homs and Deir ez-Zour. The rapid collapse of ISIS territories allowed for large numbers of Syrians to escape the group’s grip and seek safety in other parts. Many of these people, particularly those fleeing Raqqa City, ended in Tawahina.
Despite having been established less than a year ago, the conditions in the camp are nevertheless dire. There are 2400 displaced families inhabiting the camp but there aren’t enough tents for every family, forcing many families to cram together. Tents that should house 2-3 people end up taking as many as 15.
The Tabqa City Civilian Council supplies the camp with water and bread but not else. With many families unable to afford their own livelihoods, cases of malnutrition are common in the camp. Medical supplies are also in short supply. There is a medical tent but it only provides basic treatment and no medication. Many of the displaced are forced to travel to Tabqa instead, but the hospital there is short on supplies too.
The story of the Syrians here in Tawahina is a story repeated across many parts of the country. All the people here want is for someone to give them a helping hand on matters they do not have the means to deal with themselves. However, with the neighbouring Tabqa City suffering from many similar problems, it is hard to tell who can provide them with help.