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News > Syria

Syria: Snowstorm Adds Misery to Displaced People

  • Snowstorm hits Syria, bringing more poverty to the IDP camp. Jan. 20, 2022.

    Snowstorm hits Syria, bringing more poverty to the IDP camp. Jan. 20, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@MiddleEastEye

Published 20 January 2022

Snowstorms in the northwestern Syria region led to dozens of families trapped in an internally displaced people (IDP) camp.

Dozens of families at the Sheikh Bilal Camp for internally displaced people in Afrin, northwestern Syria, have been trapped amid a snowstorm that hit the region. They are struggling to keep their homes intact after a fierce storm dumped more than a foot of snow.

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The 160 families who suffered the storm's effects, were trapped for at least the past two days are now making a considerable effort to prevent their tents from collapsing.

"When the snowstorm started, I prayed to God that it would be light, but it just kept getting worse," Douja Al Ali, an old member of the IDP camp, said to Al Jazeera. "Everything is freezing! We need help!" he added.
The reports indicate that at least one child has died due to a collapsed tent, and the mother is hospitalized in an intensive care unit.

The families who live in the IDP camp have fought to deal with winter's damages; the UN has said that this year would be worst because of the increasing poverty.

Ninety-seven percent of the people in northwestern Syria live in poverty, and more than 66 percent of the four million living there are internally displaced. Despite the deficit in funds for humanitarian organizations and UN agencies, the current Turkish crisis has exacerbated years of misery.

According to local volunteer groups, keeping each family adequately warm costs between $50-75 per month.

"People are resorting to burning any material that they can find for heating, which sometimes includes unsafe material producing toxic fumes upon burning, such as plastic bags," said Santana Quazi, head of the office at UNOCHA Turkey.

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