Syrian Refugees: There’s Still No Permanent Solution to Face Winter

The freezing temperature, lack of fuel, shortages of warm clothing, and a food crisis threaten Syrian refugees every winter. They still need ongoing support.

Children playing in the snow in front of tents in a camp in Idlib, Syria, last winter. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, KURDISTAN, ATIMAH - Khalid Mohammed, a Syrian refugee in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, said that so far there had been no permanent solution for Syrian refugees every time winter comes. According to Khalid, the tents distributed by aid agencies only serve as a temporary solution.

“The camp and the tents have worn out. One year has passed so they started to give us new tents before the upcoming winter to cover it. But this is not a solution. This is a temporarily solution. We want a permanent solution," said Khalid.

Khalid says, there’s nothing he can do with the tents. They can also get tents and put them in an empty, deserted place.

This year’s winter will be even worse for the Syrian refugees due to the Covid-19 outbreak that has also affected their livelihood. In Iraq, many Syrian refugees lost their jobs, one of whom was Manal Farhad, a refugee from Qamishli.

 “I was working and I could afford (expenses) a little bit, but it has been two months since that has stopped. What can 400 Iraqi Dinars do for four people? It doesn’t do much,” said the mother of three.

Every year, the Syrian refugees’ difficulties are compounded during winter. They have to struggle for food, proper shelters, and other needs. Reliefweb reported, the worsening vulnerable situation requires solidarity from humanitarian organizations to meet their basic needs.

Every winter, Aksi Cepat Tanggap continues to provide the best assistance to Syrian refugees. Last year, for example, ACT distributed winter aid in the form of blankets in the Atmeh area. "The blanket packages were given to 250 households. They are internally displaced people who are the victims of war,” reported Firdaus Guritno from the Global Humanity Response - ACT team last February.

Assistance for Syrian refugees has also been distributed in other areas, such as Arsal in Lebanon. Blankets were given to 300 families. In Arsal, there are about 65 thousand Syrian refugees. Located in Bekaa Valley, the city is among the coldest places in winter. The temperature in Arsal can reach minus one degree Celsius. Currently, over five million Syrian refugees live in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. []