Syria: snowstorm devastates refugee camps in the north of the country

Displaced Syrian children walk in the snow at a refugee camp in Afrin, north of Aleppo, on January 19, 2022, as a snowstorm hits northern Syria.

AP - Ghaith Alsayed

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

The violent snowstorm that hits northern Syria on Wednesday caused major damage in many Syrian refugee camps in the north of the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) speaks of a “ 

great tragedy 

”.

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With our correspondent in Beirut, 

Paul Khalifeh

video

uploaded by the British-based NGO shows flooded camps, torn tents and makeshift shelters crumbling under snow, in rural areas of Idleb and Aleppo provinces, in northern Syria.

Two hundred tents collapsed on the heads of their occupants and nearly 700 refugees are homeless, reports the OSDH.

The inhabitants of the camps have launched a distress appeal to humanitarian organizations to help them evacuate the waters, reopen the roads to supply the isolated populations and find a roof for the homeless.

Residents lit tires to melt the thick layer of snow between the tents, ignoring the toxic fumes emanating from the burnt rubber.

More than 1.5 million people live in camps

The areas of Idleb and Aleppo which escape the control of the Syrian authorities have more than 4.2 million inhabitants, including 2.7 million from other regions of the country.

More than 1.5 million people live in 1,300 camps and settlements in harsh conditions.

They survive thanks to the aid provided by the UN's World Food Program (WFP) and dozens of foreign NGOs.

But these organizations provide only half of the necessary food and medical needs.

To read also: Thousands of children in camps in Syria must be repatriated "emergency", Amnesty alert

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  • Syria

  • Severe weather

  • Refugees

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