Following the start of Syria’s winter rains 148 tents in nearly a dozen camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in northwestern Syria were damaged on Sunday, with torrential rains and water flowing into many camps and tents in the region including in the vicinity of Sarmada, Atma, Maarat Misrin, Azaz, and Afrin.
The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, indicated that heavy rain fell after midnight and dawn on Sunday. They added that its teams responded to floods and opened water drainage channels with heavy equipment in the camp and surrounding areas as well as on the main roads into and out of the IDP Camps.
The Syrian Response Coordinator Team released a statement saying that with the onset of the rainfall of the current winter season, several camps reported material damages, including partial damage to tents within 11 camps in northwestern Syria, and requested humanitarian organizations and bodies to contribute to effectively securing the needs of IDPs within the camps, “We appeal to all donors that provide humanitarian support in the regions of northwestern Syria to contribute urgently and immediately.”
In addition to camps for the displaced several roads in villages were also flooded and required assistance from the White Helmets to drain or pump the excess water to allow commuters to pass safely along the inundated roads.
Winter remains one of the most difficult times of year for IDPs due to the rain, cold, and lack of infrastructure and support. This year it comes on the heels of one of the deadliest escalations by Russia and the Assad regime in several years that has newly displaced thousands putting further pressure on an already overburdened society.