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“We need help,” appeal residents of IDP camps in Syria as snowstorm brings misery

For the past two days, as many as 160 families have been trapped because of the storm and struggling because of the breaking tents. After one of the tents collapsed, one child died, and his mother has been admitted to the hospital, in the intensive care unit.

This time winters are quite much harsh, and because of the same, the residents of the Sheikh Bilal camp have been struggling to keep their homes intact after a fierce winter storm. The snowstorm has brought over a foot of snow.

On Thursday, children were seen playing snowball fights and making snowmen, whereas their parents dealt with many problems like their tents collapsed and the roads being entirely covered with snow.

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For the past two days, as many as 160 families have been trapped because of the storm and struggling because of the breaking tents. After one of the tents collapsed, one child died, and his mother has been admitted to the hospital, in the intensive care unit.

One of the camp residents told media, “I was praying to God the snowstorm would be light, but it went on getting worse. There is no way to deal with this. Everything is freezing! We need help!”

One of the local volunteers said that the cost to keep an adequate family warm is somewhere between $50-75 per month, and the majority of the families, in the camp live on less than $2 per day.

Yet another resident of the Sheikh Bilal camp mentioned that many families cannot afford an adequate amount of wood and diesel to keep their families warm as it is still an expensive ordeal to arrange enough food and water for the family.

These million refugees in Syria have been dealing with the struggle because of winter, but this year is worst for these refugees as rising poverty and dwindling aid, stated the United Nations. According to the official statics, around 97 percent of the northwestern Syria has been surviving in extreme poverty. The government further reveals that more than two-thirds of the four million living in the tents have been surviving there are internally displaced.

The head of the UN’s office for the Coordination of the Humanitarian Affairs in Turkey, Santana Quazi, stated that in Syria, the price of fuel witnessed a hike for the past six months. The cost of diesel had gone up by 19 percent and petrol by 35 percent, Quazi added.

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The head further said about the winter crisis in north-western Syria and said that people have been trying to keep themselves warm by burning the material, which is not environment friendly and produces toxic fumes upon burning.

Quazi further appealed that the residents urgently need better shelter as their tents have become old and will no longer help in their protection during the severe winter season.

 

Tariq Saeed

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