Relief assistance is cut off from IDP camps in northern Syria… camp directors meet to find solutions
Tens of directors of displacement camps in north-western Syrian have met in al-Surman camp in the village of Kaftin, north of Idlib city, on 31 August, to discuss the decreased relief support, varying levels of support among displacement camps, and the role of camp directors in obtaining support.
The director of al-Zaitoun camp, located on the outskirts of killi town, in northern Idlib, Ahmed Ghaylan, pointed out that the meeting of camp directors is to discuss the lack of support and its disparity among camps.
Ghaylan added, in an interview with Enab Baladi, that the meeting took place “spontaneously” at the invitation of some directors of displacement camps in northern Syria, and nearly 100 camp directors accepted the invitation.
In the meeting, the camp directors discussed the most critical problems faced by the internally displaced persons (IDPs), including the unequal and limited support and the absence of coordination between the camps. The coordination usually takes place between the supporter and the development management” of the so-called Salvation Government (SG) operating in the city of Idlib, the organizations and camp directors.
The meeting agreed that donor organizations should distribute their support equally among the displacement camps and that camp directors must adhere to transparency and credibility during their work and dealings with the government and with organizations in general, according to Ghaylan.
Ghaylan highlighted that some camps are provided with support each week by organizations at the expense of other camps because relatives of people residing in those camps work with the supporting organizations.
He called on the SG to help the displacement camps and gather their directors periodically to find solutions for all the displaced.
The director of al-Ghofran camp in Sheikh Bahr, west of Idlib, Muhammad Abu Haidar, told Enab Baladi that the meeting was organized to submit a complaint to the SG regarding the deteriorating living and economic conditions and the difficulty in securing bread.
In the meeting, Abu Haidar called for providing the displaced people with the necessary supplies such as bread, foodstuffs, and safe drinking water, finding a solution to the absence of infrastructure in the camps, the rugged roads, and the accumulation of mud between the tents due to the rains in the winter. He added that camp residents should be given heating materials before winter comes.
Abu Haidar discussed “favoritism and bribery” to obtain support, especially after most of the camps are subordinate to the “Displacement Administration” of the SG, which led to organizations’ reluctance to provide support to these camps. He elaborated that the camps used to be affiliated with the local councils, but now they are linked to the “Displacement Administration.”
Residents of northwestern Syria are experiencing economic hardship and dire living conditions due to the high prices of materials due to the devaluation of the Syrian pound against foreign currencies, the suspension of the transfer of aid through the Bab al-Salama Border Crossing with Turkey, and the spread of the novel coronavirus” (COVID-19).
According to Security Council Resolution 4052, cross-border transshipments from Turkey to Syria are a vital “lifeline” for some 2.8 million people who depend on humanitarian aid in northwestern Syria, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
He added that the camp directors were not known. That’s why they were invited through a group on WhatsApp, which includes the camp directors of Ma’arrat Misrin, Sheikh Bahr, Kafr Yahmul, Killi, and Kaftin.
He pointed out that people in al-Ghofran camp were forcibly displaced from Saraqib, southeast of Idlib, nine months ago, and have not yet received any support.
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