Maat Calls on the International Community to Assume its Responsibilities towards Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
Okeil: The United Nations and the donor countries must confront the appalling humanitarian situation in the refugee camps
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights called on the international community to assume its responsibilities towards refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially in northern Syria, which is exposed to a wave of severe cold and heavy snowfalls that hit, and continues to hit, the camps in northwest Syria, causing tragic deaths and severe suffering for more than 1.5 million people living in the tents. The majority of these tents have collapsed and became uninhabitable. In addition, refugees living in Lebanon and Jordan are greatly suffering as temperatures are expected to drop lower than they were in 40 years, reaching -14 degrees Celsius or less.
According to the data received by Maat from the refugee camps in northern Syria, more than 15 children have frozen to death in this wave. Maat is extremely regretful about the international community’s ignorance of the tragic conditions experienced by the refugees as a result of environmental factors, which represent a real danger to the camp residents due to the lack of capabilities to deal with climatic conditions, whether in the summer when the heat is high or in the winter when snow storms, rain and cold weather lead to the death of many children, women and the elderly.
Maat confirms that the horrific images and reports received from the refugee and IDPs camps in northeastern Syria show the inability of the international community to provide the minimum human rights standards for these displaced people fleeing the flames of war. Therefore, Maat calls on the humanitarian community to provide unconditional assistance to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons in Syria, in line with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
For his part, Ayman Okeil, the international human rights expert and president of Maat, warned of the dire and horrific humanitarian situation suffered by the displaced Syrians, as children die due to low temperatures and unbearable living conditions in the camps for the displaced. He called on Member States, donors, humanitarian organizations, the Red Cross and other stakeholders to act immediately to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, and to save the lives of millions of people, especially children and the elderly who are struggling to survive in flimsy tents in sub-zero temperatures.