Syrian IDPs Burn Clothes to Light Fires Due to Fuel Crisis

As winter sets in, Syrians displaced by the ongoing civil war have no other option but to burn their clothes to stay warm in the camps.

IDPs burn their clothes
Illustration. Syrian IDPs burn their clothes to warm themselves in winter. (Anadolu Agency/Muhammed Said)

ACTNews, IDLIB – In Syria, winter has reached its peak. Low temperatures keep millions of internally displaced Syrians cold in their simple tents.

They built a fireplace around the tent to stay alive. However, the IDPs could not obtain wood, charcoal, or other fuel to build fireplaces.

Syrian displaced in Idlib, where the majority of Syrian IDPs live, are forced to use garbage as fuel for fireplaces. Some use their clothes as fuel to keep the fire going.

Adnan Al Ahmed, who was forced to leave his hometown, Hama, eight years ago, said more than 50 families have lost their tents to the heavy snowfall this year. He was forced to burn his clothes so his family would not shiver and because the tent was not enough to warm his family. A winter storm a few weeks ago damaged the Ahmed family's tent.

Other Syrian displaced also used their shoes as fuel apart from burning clothes.

Yasir Barri, who was displaced from his hometown, Hama, said: "Right now, we don't have a stove or anything to burn to heat the tent."Living with a family of 12, including seven children, Barri said: "We burn old shoes and plastic we collect from the garbage to keep the children warm."

Previously, hundreds of refugee tents were damaged after a snowstorm hit areas in northwestern Syria at the end of January. An IDP child died after being crushed by the roof of a collapsed tent.[]