Severe flooding in Syria displaces thousands of families

Severe flooding in Syria displaces thousands of families

Flash flooding, caused by unusual heavy rainfall, has forced over 12,000 to abandon their homes in refugee camps in Northern Syria.

The heavy rainfall, which began in December, resulted in at least 22 refugee camps being flooded and 67 others being badly affected.

In the short term, Islamic Relief will be providing plastic sheeting and blankets to those directly affected. The organisation also hopes to deploy machines to drain the water and provide gravel for the roads so that the drainage vehicles can access the affected areas.

In addition to this, Islamic Relief is providing vouchers to 80,000 in northwest Syria so they can afford to buy clothes and fuel, as part of its Winter Campaign to keep people warm.

Ahmed Mahmoud, Islamic Relief’s Syria spokesman said:

“It’s a tragic situation for the people who were already living in dire conditions; in flimsy tents with temperatures dropping to below zero Celsius in the evenings. Then they were forced out into the open air under torrential rain. People were already weakened by the lack of food, water and sanitation in the camps and now they are literally struggling to survive.”

The flooding also affected many children in northwest Syria. UNICEF received alarming reports of 80 people being killed, including one child.

Geert Cappelaere, Regional Director of UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa, said:

“The suffering of children in northwest Syria has tripled due to this recent escalation of violence, harsh weather conditions and lack of safe refuge. UNICEF calls on all parties fighting in the area and elsewhere in Syria to protect children at all times and allow humanitarian workers to reach children and families in need with lifesaving supplies.”

To support the displaced people, Turkish NGO’s have provided tents to 80 families that could not find shelter after the floods in December.

Photograph: Oxfam International

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