Displaced Syrians Brace For Winter's Onslaught

Collection with 16 media items created by U.S. Editor

14 Dec 2012 10:00

Displaced Syrians brace for winter’s onslaught.

There are nearly two million internally displaced people who are stuck inside Syria with no place to go. Cold and afraid, most say they want desperately want to cross into Turkey. But Turkey has refused to accept them citing overcrowding. Qah camp is inside Syria close to the Turkish border. It was founded three months ago and is now has 520 tents. More families arrive every day, many from Hass—a town 85 kilometers southwest of Aleppo. The population, mainly women, children and the elderly, has swelled to 3600 since it was established three months ago.

About 450,000 Syrians live in camps in neighboring countries including over 137,000 in Turkey. But for an estimated two million internally displaced people remain in Syria, in danger and living in very difficult conditions.

Two new refugee camps are being constructed in Turkey, ostensibly to accommodate those stuck at the border. But for the people whose homes have been destroyed, family members killed, villages abandoned, it’s a race against time, weather and war.

Just two weeks ago regime forces dropped bombs nearby, creating a panic as people ran desperately for the Turkish border. No deaths were reported, but the situation remains tense. “Six missiles hit this village and [nearby] Atmeh,” reported Hassan, 35, a former police officer who has joined the FSA and lives with his family in the camp.

Since winter began more than a month ago, the region has experienced many days of torrential rains. Water leaks into the tents, wetting blankets, mattresses and rugs. At night, temperatures sometimes drop below freezing. “From inside the tents, you can hear the children crying,” says Mustafa, a 22 year-old former chef and military sergeant who fled with nine members of his family.

A doctor working with Medicins du Monde who preferred not to be identified said that he has seen many cases of respiratory problems and say that about 30% of the camp’s residents suffer from diarrhea as a result of unclean drinking water. Hepatitis A is also spreading rapidly at the camp. And it’s only December—the toughest winter months are still ahead.

-Jodi Hilton

Winter Refugee Camp Syrian Refug... Winter In A ... Syrian Refugees Borders Turkey Syria... Displaced Pe... Internally D... Health Crisis Health War Conflict Politics Weather Environment Camp Tents Children Children's H... Refugee Chil... Mena Photo Collec...

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

An FSA soldier at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. The same doctor reported high incidence of diarrhea, lung infections and hepatitis A among the population of nearly 3600 displaced Syrians.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (2...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A woman hangs laundry at Qah Camp on December 12, 2012, home to 3600 internally displaced people, many living in camps near the Turkish border. Most want to get into Turkey but have been denied. Turkey is currently constructing two new refugee camps but its struggling to keep up with demand. They have reported that the number of Syrians has exceeded 137,000.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (3...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

Tomato and potato soup being cooked at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. The same doctor reported high incidence of diarrhea, lung infections and hepatitis A among the population of nearly 3600 displaced Syrians.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (4...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A boy with shrapnel in his leg at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. The same doctor reported high incidence of diarrhea, lung infections and hepatitis A among the population of nearly 3600 displaced Syrians.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (5...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A widow and some of her eight children at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. The same doctor reported high incidence of diarrhea, lung infections and hepatitis A among the population of nearly 3600 displaced Syrians.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (6...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

Newly arrived family with their possessions at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. The same doctor reported high incidence of diarrhea, lung infections and hepatitis A among the population of nearly 3600 displaced Syrians.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (7...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A girl in the women's bathroom at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (8...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

Girls finish koran class at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (9...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A girl was injured when a bomb fell on her home in Hass, Syria and glass got into her arm. Now she and her family, who live in tents at Qah camp near the Turkish border, are among Syria's two million internally displaced people. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A man and woman in front of their family tent at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A woman and child look through a tent at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

Laundry hung from olive trees at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A woman cooking at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to camps on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A girl wears broken shoes at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Cold weather and rain has increased the hardships faced by nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands are living in tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

Boys fill up containers from a water truck at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. Nearly 3600 displaced Syrians, many from the destroyed town of Hass 85 kilometers southwest of Aleppo have taken refuge there. Since Turkey began turning away refugees, many thousands have moved to tents on the Syrian side of the border.

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Stories in Tents, Qah Refugee Camp (1...
Idlib, Syria
By Jodi Hilton
12 Dec 2012

A boy is examined by Medecins Du Monde doctor at Qah Camp for displaced Syrians on December 12, 2012. The same doctor reported high incidence of diarrhea, lung infections and hepatitis A among the population of nearly 3600 displaced Syrians.