Winter storms in Middle East: Three children killed, with hundreds of thousands at risk as temperatures plummet in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan

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CARE warned in a Tuesday report that the onslaught of heavy winter storms is exacerbating the dwelling state of affairs of internally displaced Syrians, as nicely as Syrians dwelling in Lebanon and Jordan, the place “temperatures are expected to drop lower than they have in 40 years, reaching -14 degrees Celsius (6.8 Fahrenheit) and lower.”

Winter storms have broken 362 tents and affected 2,124 displaced Syrians who dwell in camps in Syria, in line with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Turkey.

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One little one died in a camp in Qastal Miqdad, Syria, when a tent he was in collapsed because of the accumulation of snow on its roof. The kid’s mom is reportedly in the intensive care unit, OCHA mentioned.

A 3-year-old and a 5-year-old little one died on Monday morning in a camp north of Aleppo, Syria, when a fireplace broke out in their tent attributable to a heater. The mom of the 2 children was injured with severe burns and taken to the hospital, in line with White Helmets, a bunch of volunteer rescue staff in Syria who responded to the incident.

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The chilly climate resulted in extreme physique temperature drops of two children in camps in Bulbul, Syria. Both children are receiving remedy at a hospital in Afrin, Syria, OCHA mentioned.

“This is yet another blow to people whose lives are already beyond unbearable. People can see their own breath when lying on their thin mattresses; you will see children walk around in flip-flops and ripped shirts. Families are afraid that they will freeze to death,” mentioned Jolien Veldwijk, CARE’s Syria nation director.

Crisis in a disaster

Syria’s civil conflict in 2011 started with the arrests of a handful of children throughout Arab Spring protests in March 2011. Since then, it is exploded right into a humanitarian disaster, leaving greater than than 350,000 individuals useless and forcing tens of millions — almost half the inhabitants — out of their houses.

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Over 6.7 million individuals have been internally displaced in Syria, in line with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Another 6.8 million dwell as refugees in neighboring nations such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

Many of the displaced have discovered shelter in unfinished buildings, sheds, casual settlements and tents, which lack satisfactory protections and exposes them to brutal winter circumstances, CARE mentioned. This week’s unhealthy climate is simply worsening these dwelling circumstances.

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Snow covers the Roman Temple of Jupiter in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley, on Wednesday.

Mark Cutts, the United Nations’ deputy regional humanitarian coordinator, mentioned more assist is required for “these children and elderly people struggling to survive in flimsy tents in subzero temperatures.”

In Lebanon, refugees dwell throughout a sprawl of casual settlements, the place they lack safety from the weather, CARE mentioned.

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“People don’t have jobs or incomes, no access to jobs. They are already suffering consequences of an unprecedented economic crisis in Lebanon and have no means to protect themselves against the expected snowstorms,” says Bujar Hoxha, CARE Lebanon nation director.

Veldwijik mentioned that “while snowfall and subzero temperatures are not unusual in the Middle East,” local weather change is enjoying an element, and is inflicting growing flooding and rain.

“Flash floods are simply washing away the tents and the few belongings people were able to take when their houses were bombed. The winters are getting harsher and deadlier, while families are less and less able to cope with freezing temperatures,” Veldwijik mentioned.

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