Internally displaced children at the makeshift Kalbeed camp, near the Bab al-Hawa crossing at the Syria-Turkey border |  Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/ZEIN ALRIFAII
Internally displaced children at the makeshift Kalbeed camp, near the Bab al-Hawa crossing at the Syria-Turkey border | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/ZEIN ALRIFAII

The United Nations denounced that tens of thousands of desperate people in northwest Syria, where there are currently about four million people, are at risk for famine as they flee due to the conflict between the Syrian government and pro-Turkish fighters.

Local humanitarian workers in Idlib in contact with international aid organizations said there is a famine risk for tens of thousands of desperate people in northwest Syria. 

There are currently an estimated four million Syrians in the region; one million displaced people have arrived in the past two weeks due to the conflict underway between the Syrian government backed by Russia and local pro-Turkish fighters. 

The UN said it is the worst humanitarian crisis since violence broke out in Syria nine years ago. 

Two million minors in the region 

UN estimates that four million Syrians are present in the regions of Idlib and northern Aleppo, outside of government control, and that half of them are minors, mainly children, while one-fourth are women.

Among the 950,000 displaced people who have arrived since December 1, the percentage of children rises to 60%, equivalent to more than 600,000 children. These people fled from the war underway and have crowded into cities on the border with Turkey. Many of them, however, have only found shelter in sheds in the countryside or makeshift shelters, and many families have been exposed to the freezing temperatures of one of the coldest Syrian winters in recent years. 

In addition to this, the serious economic crisis that has hit Syria and the entire Middle East has sent the prices of essential services, such as water and electricity, soaring.

No means to heat, feed, care for themselves 

"The displaced have no means to heat, feed, or care for themselves," Maamun Ladhkani, one of the humanitarian workers in Idlib, told ANSA. 

"The majority of families fled quickly while under airstrikes (attributed to Russia and the Syrian government)," Ladkhani said, adding that aid brought by the UN and international organizations "is just a drop in the sea". 

In recent days, Turkey has resumed pressure on Europe and its NATO allies, pushing the fleeing Syrian migrants onto the European coasts. "But these are Syrian migrants who are already in Turkey, not those amassed in Idlib and northern Aleppo," Ladkhani said. 

Turkey, which has hosted more than three million Syrian refugees for years, has sealed off its border with Syria for some time and doesn't intend to let any of the four million civilians pressing at its doors to cross into the country.
 

More articles