Aleppo: 250,000 people displaced as winter approaches

A quarter of a million people displaced in northern Aleppo are in urgent need of humanitarian aid as the upcoming winter season sees the temperature drop, Syrian news agency Zaman Al-Wasl reported yesterday.

Refugees from one of Syria’s most populous provinces are awaiting basic supplies from charities and camp administrators, including tents, heaters and blankets, as more civilians continue to flee fighting in the Jizera area.

However, camp administrators have little to offer as international organisations fail to provide the sites with the necessary aid.

“So far there are no preparations to help the displaced people to cope with the winter, and the organisations have nothing to offer the camps in the foreseeable future,” Hussein Daraj, manager of the Dahiyet Sajo camp, said.

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Aid has so far been limited to providing civilians with cleaning services, bread and water, but replacement shelters are urgently needed as current tents lack appropriate insulation or waterproof materials. Temperatures can fall to as low as three degrees Celsius in December and January; heavy rain and snow is also expected.

The Camps of Jarablus organisation, which manages thousands of refugees in the Jizera region, confirmed that there are no initiatives to prepare for winter in the camps, also specifying that aid provision had been stopped due to a lack of approval from the Turkish Ministry for Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD).

Turkish troops are currently heading towards the suburbs of Aleppo alongside Russia and Iran, to enforce de-escalation zones in the West of the country were they have clashed with Syrian jihadist groups. Turkey has been one of the biggest supporters of opposition forces fighting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad during the six-and-a-half-year war, but its focus has moved from ousting him to securing its own borders against Daesh and Kurdish groups.

According to aid agencies, Syria is facing its worst fighting since the battle for eastern Aleppo last year, with heavy air strikes causing hundreds of civilian casualties and contributing to the ever-growing number of refugees.

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