Winter Storms Wreak Havoc in Northern Syria Impacting IDP Camps

Credit (Syria Civil Defense)
Recent heavy rainfall in northern Syria has caused widespread devastation, particularly in the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps, exacerbating the already dire living conditions of thousands of displaced individuals. The Atma camps, among others, have been transformed into pools of water and mud, leaving families stranded outside their damaged tents. The impact of the storms has been severe, with numerous camps suffering from flooding and structural damage.

The Syrian Response Coordinators (SRC) team has reported damage in 19 camps, adding to the previous destruction caused by storms several days prior. Shockingly, the region has not seen an effective response from humanitarian organizations to alleviate the disaster, leaving families vulnerable and exposed to the elements.

The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, has been tirelessly working to mitigate the aftermath of the storms. Their teams have been draining rainwater from the vicinity of tents in multiple camps, including those in the towns of Akhtarin, Aleppo, and various locations in Idlib. The extent of their efforts is evident in their response to over 15 camps, where they have addressed damaged tents and infrastructure, ensuring the safety and well-being of the affected individuals.

According to the Syrian Salvation Government (SSG) Ministry of Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the ministry has been actively involved in assessing and responding to the needs of the affected population. Directors of Humanitarian Affairs in various regions, including Al-Dana, Atma, Sarmada, Ariha, and Harem, have reported material damage and flooding in several camps. Their teams have been deployed to evaluate those in need and provide essential assistance, including opening roads closed due to the rain and restoring services to the affected families.

The impact of the storms has been far-reaching, with reports of damaged residential homes, hospitals, and even a sewing factory. The Syrian Specialized Hospital in the city of Afrin experienced rainwater leaking into its basement, highlighting the broader implications of the storms on critical infrastructure outside of the many IDP Camps.

As winter continues the situation remains critical, with the expectation of further intensification of the heavy rain in the coming days. The ongoing response efforts by humanitarian organizations and local authorities are crucial in providing immediate relief and support to the affected population.

As the region grapples with the aftermath of these devastating storms, internal and external humanitarian agencies must mobilize support and resources to aid those affected in northern Syria and restore and bolster infrastructure, especially during this season.


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