Syrian coastal camps complain of lack of aid and the curse of geography

Idlib- Samia Najm sets out each morning for the mountainous terrain near the Khirbet al-Joz camps in the western Idlib countryside, which separates the Idlib and Latakia rural areas in northern Syria.

Having lost hope of getting support for this year's winter from humanitarian organizations, Samia leaves her tent every morning to collect firewood from forest trees to provide warmth for her children.

Samia said in an interview with Al Jazeera Net, “It is said that the displaced are below the poverty line, but we have opened a death line. Living among the mountains makes the weather cold, not to mention the lack of support. There is no employment and there is a lack of job opportunities, so we are living in disastrous conditions.”

He further added, “If a child falls ill due to cold weather, the family does not understand how to save him. Hospitals are very far away, and there are only a few medical centers that provide first aid. “

Thousands of displaced people live in the western Idlib countryside and mountainous areas of the northern Idlib countryside, and are called Syrian coast camps, as the majority of their inhabitants are from the city of Latakia and its rural areas.

The residents of these camps live in a very rugged, mountainous geographical area, and they are more than 200 kilometers from important areas of northern Idlib and the centers of organizations' presence, making it difficult for organizations to reach them.

People in coastal camps complain of great injustices that they face despite the cold weather and lack of work opportunities. Because they live in the mountains and there is no market for trade, and humanitarian organizations do not send them aid or heating equipment.

Rough roads make it difficult for humanitarian organizations to operate (Al Jazeera Net)
Rough roads make it difficult for humanitarian organizations to operate (Al Jazeera)

lack of support

Muhammad Sino, displaced from Latakia rural area after the Syrian regime took control of his village, moved to camps near “al-Maland” area in western Idlib rural area. Their complaint is that their tent sank and they have had no shelter in the past few days.

Muhammad Sino told Al Jazeera Net that he and his five children were forced to live in a 40-meter tent with his sister's family due to a lack of spare tents, as there are hundreds of families in the area where he lives. Were displaced. keep this.

He said the area where coastal residents live is oppressed compared to the aid provided to camps in the Sarmada and Dana areas, close to the Bab al-Hawa border crossing in northern Syria, which is home to the offices of humanitarian organizations. Whereas there is almost a complete lack of support in this area.

According to data from volunteer organizations and teams, the owners of these camps live in extreme poverty in the cold season, as most of their inhabitants do not have firewood for heating, which prompted Syrian activists to launch an aid campaign for these camps. Inspired for, which they have said to be forgotten.

Many women work collecting and selling firewood to secure a livelihood, at a time when most camp residents suffer from unemployment, unlike displaced people who live near cities and organizations' work centers, where they There is greater access to jobs. opportunity.

Camp residents complain about lack of aid
The camp's residents suffer from extreme poverty due to harsh climatic conditions and lack of aid (Al Jazeera)

suffering in numbers

Omar al-Sayed – a displaced person from the city of Latakia – decided to collect old clothes to stay warm this year and buy used clothes from a market near the area where he lives, but this has resulted in a lot of heat inside his tent. Smoke started coming out. This would almost suffocate his children, forcing him to stay warm on firewood.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Omar says he sends his children with bags every day to the mountains of the Syrian coast, “and they don't return until they have enough firewood for us for two days.” don't collect, and I give even more to my neighbors who have nothing to keep them warm.”

He further said, “My heart breaks when I send my children to fetch wood, as they come back drenched in water and shivering with cold, but I have no help. I am sick and Can't climb mountains, there's no other option.” in this matter.”

The Syria Response Coordinators team monitored a number of difficulties faced by displaced people in camps in the northwest of the country, including difficulty securing bread and food, the spread of fires and skin diseases, and problems with water and sanitation.

The team released a report stating that 86% of the camps are facing a food security crisis, while 94% of the camps have displaced victims. Due to the shortage of bread and its high prices.

They reported that 61% of camps do not have sanitation services, and in random camps this percentage increases to 100%, and that clean and potable water is absent in 48% of camps (819 camps).

The report noted an increase in skin diseases in more than 23% of the camps, and 87% of them lacked mobile clinics or medical points.

According to the report, 69% of the camps do not have educational points, while the percentage of working children in them has reached more than 37%.

The team revealed that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria has increased to 17.3 million, the highest percentage since 2011.

Children collect firewood in the mountains (Al Jazeera Net)
Children collect firewood from the mountains to heat and cook food (Al Jazeera)

Over the past few days, volunteer teams and humanitarian organizations have begun to shed light on the suffering of the camps, with the aim of drawing attention to providing support to them during the winter.

Humanitarian worker Abdul Jabbar al-Zaidan confirmed that the emergency response team has launched a campaign to warm 5,000 families, worth $250,000, and that relief convoys will be sent to the area to deliver heating materials to those in need.

He said in an interview with Al Jazeera Net that it covers only 20% of households in need of heating, so the campaign should involve all organizations to satisfy all displaced people on the Syrian coast, because the needs The size is small. Ranging from food aid to sanitation materials and fuel.

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