North East Syria: Response to Urgent Question in Parliament; and statement on humanitarian situation two weeks after start of the escalation

Save the Children, 22nd October 

Save the Children has spokespeople available for interview. Please contact: media@savethechildren.org.uk / 0207 012 6841 / (24hrs) 07831 650409

Earlier today in Parliament there was an Urgent Question on the British children trapped in North East Syria. In response, a Save the Children spokesperson said:

“It was encouraging to see MPs from all sides come together and demand that we bring these children home. The Government is clearly listening but seems to be taking small steps in the right direction when it needs to be making big strides. These children need to be brought to safety now, not next week or next month.”

ENDS

In addition, two weeks after the start of the escalation in North East Syria, Save the Children’s Syria Response Director Sonia Khush said:

The thousands of people displaced since October 9th  in North East Syria have multiple and acute humanitarian needs, from basic shelter to clean water and food. Today, more than 74,000 children remain away from their homes, with many living in schools, abandoned buildings or even tents set up hastily in open fields.

“There are also five main camps for displaced people that are home to dozens of nationalities including Syrians, Iraqis and other foreigners who rely almost entirely on humanitarian aid. Some of the camps have been receiving civilians displaced in the past two weeks, which is putting great pressure on the already overstretched resources and tired populations.

“In addition to a lasting cessation of hostilities, the free and unimpeded movement of civilians and aid workers in North East Syria is the only way today to avoid a full-scale humanitarian crisis.”

30-year old Shahad* has been displaced to a school in Al Hasakeh city. He told Save the Children:

We fled because of airstrikes and bombing. My mother-in-law was wounded, and my brother-in-law, grandson, and cousin are missing. The airplanes were circling, so we fled to save our lives.

“We had little children with us. We left everything behind, we just wanted to save our and our children’s lives. We fled barefoot with only our clothes on us.

“Now, we’re here with nothing: No food, nothing. Look at us. What are we going to do?”

Notes to editors:

  • As of October 20th, Save the Children had distributed 204 Non-Food Item kits (each including 3 mattresses, 2 blankets and 2 jackets) and 438 ration packs.
  • Save the Children have distributed more than 2,000 boxes with ready-to-eat-rations to date.
  • The 5 camps for displaced people are Al Hol, Roj, Areesha, Mahmudil, and Mabruka -  although the few families remaining in the latter may be evacuated imminently. A sixth camp, Ein Issa, is now empty.

 

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

 

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