Testimonies from Families Fleeing Violence in North-East Syria

“There is no water here, there are no toilets and the smell is unbearable…we do not have anything now. We left with our children only.”

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 20, 2019) — More than 13,000 people – including approximately 5,200 children – are currently seeking refuge in more than 30 collective shelters. These shelters are schools and unfinished buildings without electricity, as well as open fields across Al Hasakeh, Tal Tamer and Al Raqqa. An estimated 70,000 children have been displaced since the start of the latest military operation in North-East Syria on October 9.

In Al Hasakeh city, 24 schools are being used as shelters and are already hosting 4,160 displaced people. Due to damage to the power lines of the Allok water station, there is currently no steady water supply to Al Hasakeh city and its surroundings. Leaving thousands of people dependent on water being trucked in.

“There is no water here, there are no toilets and the smell is unbearable,” said Samer*, who fled his home and is now sheltering in a school in Al Hasakeh with his two children. “There are no toilets, there's nothing in the school. We wish the international community would intervene and the bombing stop. We wish for the war to end and we return to our homes.”

"We are humiliated and displaced now, Samer* continued, “We do not have anything now. We left our belongings back home. We left with our children only."

“Thousands of children and their families have once again had to leave everything they own to flee conflict and take shelter in unhygienic conditions without the basic necessities,” said Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria Response Director.“People living in North-East Syria were already in acute need before the latest escalation in violence and are hugely reliant on humanitarian aid,” said Khush, “We urge all parties to the conflict to take measures to minimize the impact of hostilities on civilians and to allow humanitarian agencies unrestricted access to children in desperate need.”

In Al Hasakeh, Save the Children has been providing education, nutrition, and mental and emotional support to children and their families who have been displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance. Since the latest wave of displacement, we have been providing mental and emotional support, ready-to-eat food rations and essential relief kits including mattresses and other items to displaced people.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of people featured in this piece.

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