CARE rescues displaced Syrians as winter storms hit

ِWhile winter storms pleasured many people in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon as rain is a good source of water which is essential for humans, animals, and plant life, it is also bad news for the Syrian refugees that living in tents and abandoned buildings.

According to a CARE International statement, Syrians have found their situation exacerbated following the heavy winter storms.

In the last 40 years, the Levant region (Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) has not experienced this severe drop in temperature, reaching -14°C and lower, the statement from the international humanitarian organization said.

Strong winds reaching up to 80km/h, with heavy snow in mountainous areas threatening the lives of millions of people who are already living in miserable circumstances.

6.8 million Syrians live as refugees in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, in Syria, over 6.7 million people have been internally displaced most of them have found shelter in tents, unfinished buildings, and sheds, leaving them at risk of harsh winter conditions.

Winter assistance is more important than ever to help the most vulnerable refugees keep a roof over their heads and their families safe from the cold, with extremely low temperatures in Jordan now and the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even In Lebanon, refugees live across hundreds of informal settlements, without adequate protection, they are already suffering the consequences of an unprecedented economic crisis in Lebanon and have no resources or ways to protect themselves against the expected snowstorms, people are jobless and have no income.

The situation is disturbing in Syria, with the terrible shelter conditions, limited fuel supply, and the use of dangerous materials to stay warm, resulting in grave health and environmental impacts.

“During the cold winter, mothers are usually the last ones to eat, and children are usually the first ones to freeze,” said Sherine Ibrahim, CARE Turkey’s country director, in the statement.

CARE’s teams across the region have been able to help more than 86,000 people in Syria and 4,000 people in Jordan with winter equipment support, CARE is supporting displaced people with insulating their tents, strengthening temporary shelters, and giving warm clothing, blankets, and cash so people can afford fuel for heating, as they are most affected by the cold.

The conflict in Syria has been ongoing for almost 11 years, and according to CARE donors are growing tired of funding humanitarian assistance, the needs have only increased over the past years, and right now people fearing to freeze to death because of desperately needed funding is unavailable.

“These weather conditions, snowfall, and sub-zero temperatures are not unusual in the Middle East, weather change has caused increased flooding and rainfall, flash floods are simply washing away the tents and the few belongings people were able to take when their houses were bombed in Syria, the winter became harsher while families are less and less able to cope with it,” CARE said.

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