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Winter storms in Middle East: Three children killed, with hundreds of thousands at risk as temperatures plummet in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan

CARE warned in a Tuesday report that the onslaught of heavy winter storms is exacerbating the dwelling scenario of internally displaced Syrians, as properly as Syrians dwelling in Lebanon and Jordan, the place “temperatures are expected to drop lower than they have in 40 years, reaching -14 degrees Celsius (6.8 Fahrenheit) and lower.”

Winter storms have broken 362 tents and affected 2,124 displaced Syrians who reside in camps in Syria, based on the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Turkey.

One little one died in a camp in Qastal Miqdad, Syria, when a tent he was in collapsed because of the accumulation of snow on its roof. The kid’s mom is reportedly in the intensive care unit, OCHA mentioned.

A 3-year-old and a 5-year-old little one died on Monday morning in a camp north of Aleppo, Syria, when a fireplace broke out in their tent brought on by a heater. The mom of the 2 children was injured with severe burns and taken to the hospital, based on White Helmets, a gaggle of volunteer rescue employees in Syria who responded to the incident.

The chilly climate resulted in extreme physique temperature drops of two children in camps in Bulbul, Syria. Both children are receiving therapy at a hospital in Afrin, Syria, OCHA mentioned.

“This is yet another blow to people whose lives are already beyond unbearable. People can see their own breath when lying on their thin mattresses; you will see children walk around in flip-flops and ripped shirts. Families are afraid that they will freeze to death,” mentioned Jolien Veldwijk, CARE’s Syria nation director.

Crisis in a disaster

Syria’s civil warfare in 2011 started with the arrests of a handful of children throughout Arab Spring protests in March 2011. Since then, it is exploded right into a humanitarian disaster, leaving greater than than 350,000 folks useless and forcing thousands and thousands — almost half the inhabitants — out of their houses.

Over 6.7 million folks have been internally displaced in Syria, based on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Another 6.8 million reside as refugees in neighboring nations such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

Many of the displaced have discovered shelter in unfinished buildings, sheds, casual settlements and tents, which lack satisfactory protections and exposes them to brutal winter circumstances, CARE mentioned. This week’s unhealthy climate is simply worsening these dwelling circumstances.

Mark Cutts, the United Nations’ deputy regional humanitarian coordinator, mentioned extra assist is required for “these children and elderly people struggling to survive in flimsy tents in subzero temperatures.”

In Lebanon, refugees reside throughout a sprawl of casual settlements, the place they lack safety from the weather, CARE mentioned.

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“People haven’t got jobs or incomes, no entry to jobs. They are already struggling penalties of an unprecedented financial crisis in Lebanon and don’t have any means to guard themselves in opposition to the anticipated snowstorms,” says Bujar Hoxha, CARE Lebanon nation director.

Veldwijik mentioned that “while snowfall and subzero temperatures are not unusual in the Middle East,” local weather change is taking part in a component, and is inflicting rising flooding and rain.

“Flash floods are simply washing away the tents and the few belongings people were able to take when their houses were bombed. The winters are getting harsher and deadlier, while families are less and less able to cope with freezing temperatures,” Veldwijik mentioned.



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