As the harsh winter winds and hammering rains continue in Syria, camps for displaced people in the northwestern region of the country suffered severe floods that have resulted in total havoc on the camps. According to the report by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), approximately 121,000 displaced people residing around 304 different sites have been desperately affected by the floods. The humanitarian aid workers have been actively working non-stop to enable access to the roads as well as provide urgent humanitarian relief to the displaced people in the camps. Reports have confirmed that at least one child has been killed as well as three people injured.

Flooding Results in Further Displacement for People Living in Camps in Syria

Those residing in the camps had already been living by the threshold, as their possessions, their food stocks, and their household commodities were washed away, resulting in an even more dire urgency than what had previously existed. The scope of the matter is a distressing one as the elderly, children, and pregnant mothers, all who had been forced to flee their homes, remain stranded in temperatures minus zero in polluted water. The muddy terrain in these isolated areas has forced thousands of people to be completely cut off from any aid and humanitarian support for several days now.

The UN reports that approximately 2.7 million are currently displaced within the northwestern region of Syria, and over 1.6 million are scattered across at least 1,300 different camps. As the fighting continues, the displaced people are currently trapped in freezing temperatures, armed conflict, a deteriorating economy, COVID-19, starvation, and now, floods. The UN’s Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator has stated that there had been one million displaced people in 2020 within this region due to armed conflict. He added that there is a significant lack of camps in what is now the largest displacement crisis of the 21st century. The international response to this crisis has yet to catch up to the massive scale of this ongoing catastrophe.

Syria is now entering a decade of armed conflict, where the UN reports almost 12 million people have been forcibly displaced. Many of these people continue to take refuge on any roadside or beneath olive trees as the situation becomes grimmer and grimmer, with informal camps and other places of refuge not able to keep up with the number of people fleeing. Reports show that this year there has been a dramatic decrease in shelling as well as hostile action compared to last year before a ceasefire had been initiated. However, artillery fire continues to cause a dreadful bearing in the northwestern region of Syria, with the rate of casualties still increasing. Besides the ongoing conflict and the flooding ravaging the displaced people, there have been around 21,000 cases of people with COVID-19. These records were updated on January 26th, and humanitarian organizations have been endlessly striving to provide urgent aid to the Syrian people. Efforts continue to be obstructed by armed groups, by natural disasters, and now the pandemic.

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