Winter cold front worsens living conditions of displaced in northwest Syria

Winter cold front worsens living conditions of displaced in northwest Syria 

The tents of displaced camp in the northern Syrian town of Kefraya, bogged down after the heavy rains of recent weeks, in Kefraya, Syria, Jan. 17, 2019. EPA-EFE/Ahmad Zakour

Kafriya (Syria)/Beirut, Jan 17 (efe-epa).- A winter cold front presently hitting the Middle East has worsened the already bad living conditions of Syrians at a displaced persons camp in the Syrian northwestern province of Idlib, as documented by an efe-epa journalist Thursday.

Camp resident Abu Khaled al-Jaburi told EFE that the four camps in Idlib are located in the administrative boundary of Kafriya and, though beset by poverty – and in recent weeks, torrential rains and low temperatures – the camps provide shelter for 350 families who have fled due to clashes between pro-government troops and rebels.

«There are only two wood-burning stoves, and there are no toilets, thus we, the displaced people, have to walk for a kilometer outside to answer nature’s call,» al-Jaburi said.

Epa-efe pictures show families living in muddy, frozen tents, as well as children and grandparents cooking on camp fires in response to the bitter cold sweeping over camps where, in the past few days, the average daytime temperature has been as low as 12º C (54 F) and plummeted to -2º C (28 F) at night.

Abu Jalil, another displaced person who had fled east of Hama due to continuous bombings by government forces, denounced the conditions displaced Syrians face, describing how camp residents have had to wash their clothes in casserole pots.

Al-Jaburi called on humanitarian organizations to provide urgent aid to improve the living conditions at the camps.

UNICEF reported Monday that at least 15 children in Syria, mostly younger than 12 months old, have died in the past month due to the winter cold.

Idlib, the last opposition stronghold, has been in rebel hands since 2015.

The Syrian Civil War, which erupted in 2011, has resulted in millions of displaced persons in Syria as well as millions of Syrian refugees fleeing to other countries across the Middle East and Europe.