The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) continues its efforts for the people in Syria’s last opposition bastion, Idlib, where the displaced, mostly women and children, are bracing for a harsh winter ahead.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the occasion of International Migrants Day, Kadir Kemaloğlu, head of the Kızılay’s Idlib team, said: "As the Red Crescent, we meet the daily bread needs of 33,000 families in Idlib. We provide food and hygiene assistance to an average of 17,000 families per month. At the same time, we provide health services in our three camps and briquette houses."
Kemaloğlu noted that the aid agency also meets the medicine needs of hospitals and health units in Idlib.
"We meet the water needs of approximately 17 orphanages and 11 camps," he added.
The lives of Syrian people dealing with many difficulties in rural Idlib's tent camps have become much harder due to the recent winter conditions. As the humanitarian catastrophe in the region has reached new heights, people try to survive by taking shelter under trees or in shaky tents built on mud and puddles.
The Idlib region is home to nearly 3 million people, two-thirds of them displaced from other parts of the country.
Nearly 75% of the total population in the opposition-held Idlib region depends on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs, as 1.6 million people continue to live in camps or informal settlements, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
For years, the Assad regime has ignored the needs and safety of the Syrian people, only eyeing further gains of territory and crushing the opposition. With this aim, the regime has for years bombed civilian facilities such as schools, hospitals and residential areas, causing the displacement of almost half of the country's population.
The situation for the people in Idlib worsened when the Assad regime, backed by Russia, launched an offensive on the province, causing the largest one-time displacement in the history of the Syrian civil war and a huge humanitarian tragedy, according to the U.N.
Frequent bombings and shelling have put nearly 50% of health facilities out of service, just as the Syrian people need them the most amid the coronavirus pandemic. Living in overcrowded tent camps or even out in the open in safe areas near the Turkish border, many are struggling to meet even basic needs.
The Idlib de-escalation zone was forged under an agreement between Turkey and Russia. The area has been the subject of multiple cease-fire agreements, which have been frequently violated by the Assad regime and its allies.
A fragile truce was brokered between Moscow and Ankara in March 2020 in response to months of fighting by the Russia-backed regime. Almost a million people have fled the Bashar Assad regime’s offensive yet the regime still frequently carries out attacks on civilians, hindering most from returning to their homes and forcing them to stay in makeshift camps.
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