United Nations, Feb 2 : Harrowing details continue to emerge of thousands of families who have risked their lives fleeing fighting in Syria’s last ISIL terrorist-held enclave, as UN humanitarians warned that children are still dying on their way to an overcrowded camp for the displaced, amid access problems and perishing cold.
“Since fighting escalated in Hajin in early December, more than 23,000 people have fled to Al Hol (camp), effectively tripling its population,” UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said, adding, “Many more are expected.”
WHO, which is ramping up its response to Al Hol camp, has already delivered thousands of medical treatments to support two mobile clinics and four health teams there.
The UN health agency has also supported vaccination campaigns, set up disease surveillance and training for volunteers to provide “psychological first aid and basic counselling”, WHO’s regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean tweeted.
“A week ago, WHO airlifted more than 28 tonnes of medical supplies, equipment and vaccines to Al Hassakeh Governorate to respond to growing health needs in north-east Syria,” WHO’s Mr Lindmeier confirmed.
“This was the second shipment the organisation has airlifted to Al Hassakeh this month,” he added. “It’s also worth mentioning that the first shipment this year was airlifted to the governorate on 8 January. It contained 20 tonnes of medical supplies sufficient to cover 110,000 medical treatments.”
Despite the airlifts, much more help is required. “Access does remain the key issue, just to remind everyone, and we need guaranteed approvals to access the camp and the roads leading to it,” Mr Lindmeier explained.(UNI)