Crisis in Syria: Refugees in Idlib camps face war, weather and Covid | DW News

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  • DW News published this video item, entitled “Crisis in Syria: Refugees in Idlib camps face war, weather and Covid | DW News” – below is their description.

    In Syria, the conditions facing refugees in the northwest of the country are increasingly desperate. There is ongoing fighting, the coronavirus pandemic, heavy rains and bitterly cold temperatures. Tens of thousands of people fled to Idlib province about a year ago in search of safety, away from the Assad regime’s attacks on rebel territories. Hundreds of makeshift refugee camps were set up close to the border with Turkey. But they lack basic supplies. And the winter weather is making things worse. And there is no safety. DW correspondent Birgitta Schülke visited a family in one of the camps:

    A bare tent frame standing among charred ruins: a reminder of the horrible night four weeks ago when Abdul Fattah al-Daghim lost his ten-year-old daughter.

    In the bitter cold, his tent neighbors were trying to light a homemade furnace when the entire tent went up in flames.

    Their youngest daughter, Dalaa, also suffered severe burns. An aid organization brought the one-year-old to Turkey for medical treatment. Doctors have sent messages and videos, but the family is not allowed to visit her.

    Tragedies like these happen frequently in the makeshift camps in northern Idlib. Tens of thousands of people are living here in miserable conditions. They lack even basic necessities: latrines, food, heating fuel, medical care.

    Constant heavy rain has now made the situation worse. People here were cut off from all supplies for days – many tents were destroyed. Aid organizations have been doing their best but are totally overwhelmed. The situation is made even worse by the rampant coronavirus. The infection rate in Idlib province has risen dramatically.

    Abduls Fattah’s family are simply glad that the aid organization has given them

    a new tent, some clothing, and even a new furnace. But they hardly use it despite the cold: they have no money for fuel — and they’re terrified of using it anyway:

    When they fled the fighting and air raids, Abdul Fattah thought they would only be here for a few days. But now it’s been 14 months — and they’re too afraid to go back home to southern Idlib. Because the fighting rages on.

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