UN, partners aid displaced people in Syria suffering in deadly winter

United Nations, Jan 22 (IANS): The US and its partners are helping more than 1 million displaced people suffering severe winter weather in settlements in northern Syria, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Snow, cold rain and severe winter weather across the north are compounding the misery of people already struggling with conflict, mass displacement and economic crisis, Xinhua news agency quoted the OCHA as saying.

Some 1.7 million displaced people living in more than 1,400 camps and other informal settlements across the Northwest suffer the most from the severe weather.

Since Tuesday, heavy snow has hit more than 100,000 displaced people in 85 sites, said the Office.

More than 1,000 tents were damaged or destroyed. Heavy snow collapsing tent roofs expose women, children and the elderly to the cold.

One child was killed and the mother was critically injured in such an accident, OCHA said.

Heavy rainfall has caused misery in hundreds of other sites hosting more than 150,000 people, it added.

The most pressing needs include opening access roads to displacement sites, relocating people to safer shelters, replacing destroyed tents, and providing food and other essential assistance.

In preparing for the winter response before the latest onslaught, the United Nations identified 2.2 million people needing winterization assistance.

But a lack of resources means that only half of the people have received relief, said OCHA.

The world organization calls for continued support to meet the humanitarian needs of millions of vulnerable people in Northwest Syria and throughout the country, the Office said.



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