Poor humanitarian condition in Qamishli, children suffer the most

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29-05-2013

ARA News

Since more than six months, residents of the north-eastern city of Qamishli suffer from an acute shortage in basic supplies, especially the infant formula, indicating a severe humanitarian condition in the area.

The city of Qamishli, were the Kurds form a majority of the population, was considered over months a ‘safe haven’ for displaced families from other cities, as the city enjoyed a relatively secure atmosphere in comparison with other areas that see continuous clashes between forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels.

However, Qamishli started to witness sporadic clashes since few months, as the opposition armed groups constantly attempted to take over some areas inside and around the city. Apparently, the insecurity that started to prevail across the north-eastern region in Syria seems to have caused a remarkable shortage in basic supplies, with a reported difficulty of receiving a sufficient humanitarian aid from neighboring countries.  

Sources in Qamishli told ARA News that a number of shipments full of humanitarian aid were robbed by unknown armed groups before arriving in the city.

According to activists, the Kurdistan Regional Government supplied the northern areas of Syria with a number of shipments of humanitarian aid, but still scarcity is remarkable.

Roj is a relief organization stuffed by Kurdish activists and supported by the Norwegian organization of Bao. A member of the organization told ARA News that they are making considerable efforts to aid the residents of the northern and north-eastern areas in Syria, “but some security restrictions prevent the organization from performing its duty efficiently,” he said.

“We faced various obstacles while trying to cross the Iraqi-Syrian borders, beside the big difficulty in reaching those in need due to the prevalence of armed groups and the interference in our work,” he revealed to ARA News.

Due to the sharp shortage in the infants’ formula, with an inability to ensure alternative sources, dozens of infants in Qamishli died recently, and activists reported that the situation is worsening in the area and that the number of victims among infants and children may grow dramatically if the situation would continue this way.

The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF reported last week that more than 700.000 children are among those who fled violence in Syria.

“Over 1.5 million people have fled from the horrific violence in Syria, half of them children. And for the millions more who are still living in Syria, every single day is a struggle. Children have been displaced, lost homes and schools, struggled to get clean water, food and warmth,” the report read. “UNICEF is working on the ground in Syria and neighboring countries to provide clean water, clothing and medical care for children. We’re also running child-friendly spaces where children can be safe, and helping children who have suffered psychological distress. Right now, our resources are at breaking point. Without extra funding we won’t be able to reach every child who needs us.”

By: Adib Abdulmajid

Source: ARA News

 

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