Freezing Cold Killing Syrian Refugees amidst Flagrant Int’l Inaction
Syrian National Coalition - Syria
Department of Media and Communications
February 14, 2020
As severe cold and snow grips the region, Syrian refugees in northwestern Syria and in Lebanon, especially in the camps in and around the town of Arsal, are facing increased suffering as a result of the severe shortages in heating fuel and foodstuffs. The suffering of the Syrian refugees in Arsal has also been compounded by the absence of effective measures to assist them as Lebanon has been struggling with its deep economic crisis.
More than nine people died in the IDP camps as a result of the severe cold in the past two weeks, while more people are fleeing their homes in Idlib and Aleppo provinces. According to a report the Syrian Network for Human Rights released on Thursday, no fewer than 167 Syrian civilians, including 77 children, have died from the cold since March 2011.
Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in camps near Arsal are already suffering extremely dire living conditions. They need emergency support to cope with these harsh conditions as well as sustainable support ensuring the basic requirements for a decent, dignified life.
Despite the harsh circumstances, and despite the fact that their homes and lands are only a few kilometers away, Syrian refugees in Arsal prefer to endure these difficulties than to return to live under the regime of tyranny and terrorism. They are waiting for the appropriate conditions for the safe, dignified and honorable return to a homeland ensuring their freedom and basic rights.
It is imperative that the Lebanese authorities, the international community, and the international and relief organizations take swift action to relieve Syrian refugees in Arsal and the rest of the affected areas, especially through the provision of heating fuel, relief aid, and medical aid as quickly as possible.