x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Winter misery in Syria

Blizzards in Syria have added a level of misery to the nearly 10 million people in the nation who need humanitarian assistance.

Normally, wintery scenes of snow-covered villages would inspire seasonal cheer, with the prospect of snowball fights and then retreating into the warmth of home for a hot meal. But for the nearly 10 million refugees displaced by Syria’s bitter and protracted civil war, there is no such upside. For them, the blizzards that have hit the Levant this week have just added a new dimension of misery to their experience.

All this underscores the importance of getting humanitarian aid to the innocent victims of this conflict, be they the 2.3 million Syrians estimated to have fled the country to find refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey or Iraq, or the 6.5 million who have been internally displaced.

Altogether, those in need within Syria total around 9.5 million – close to half of Syria’s 22 million population – and they are disproportionately made up of women and children who have no access to proper housing or sources of heat.

While the crowded refugee camps in neighbouring countries struggle to cope with the influx, most of the internally displaced refugees within Syria are missing out entirely on assistance that is desperately needed to cope with freezing temperatures. The world should be ashamed.