‘Starvation’ now a reality for displaced Syrians stranded in camp near Jordanian border

WFP Children in Syria’s Rukban camp (November 2018).

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Starvation “is already starting” in a camp for displaced people in south-east Syria, a senior UN official said on Thursday, while condemning ongoing airstrikes and retaliatory shelling in opposition-held territories in the north-west.

Now in its ninth year, as Syrian Government forces and allies reclaim areas previously held by opposition forces, the conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions.

In Rukban camp, which is near the Jordanian border, UN humanitarians have repeatedly called for greater access since a second convoy last reached the site in February.

Echoing that message in Geneva, Najat Rochdi, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria, said that more than 12,000 people had left the camp amid worsening conditions linked to shortages of basic services and supplies.

“The UN continues to advocate for a third humanitarian convoy and for food and fuel to continue to arrive to Rukban through commercial routes,” she said, adding that 29,000 remain there “and it will take time. It is simple math,” she added. “If they want to completely leave the camp – those people did not have any humanitarian assistance, any convoy, since February already, and starvation is already starting.”

Turning to the situation in Idlib, where violence has escalated in recent weeks despite a fragile ceasefire agreed last September, the UN official strongly condemned the targeting of civilians in schools and health centres – including some facilities that had moved to supposedly safer areas outside built-up areas after being targeted in previous attacks.

“Aerial bombardments including the reported use of barrel bombs causing severe damage to civilian infrastructures and civil casualties is a practice that goes against every single humanitarian principle,” she said. “Also alarming, is the reported shelling from the de-escalation zone into areas under government control.”

Latest displacement figures indicate that more than 180,000 people have likely fled their homes in Idlib, Ms. Rochdi said, explaining that for many, this was not the first time they had been forced to flee conflict from elsewhere in Syria.

Most had moved further to the north and east, she said, while others had gone to Aleppo.

“People fleeing because of fear and because of bombing is their cruel daily reality,” she said. “But now, if the bombing is continuing where do you want them to flee? They already fled there as the last resort…Where is it that they will be able to go?”

Speaking to journalists after chairing a meeting of the Humanitarian Task Force on Syria in Geneva, Ms. Rochdi reiterated the panel’s call for “an urgent de-escalation” of fighting in Idlib, and for the warring parties to recommit to the ceasefire agreement; in particular Russia and Turkey.

Of the approximately three million people living in Idlib, one million are children. Hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk because of the ongoing fighting, which has left tens of thousands of youngsters out of school and families sheltering under trees, the UN official explained.

“The insecurity there and the continuing airstrikes, is not something that is conducive really, to deliver humanitarian assistance,” she said. “And as you know, some NGOs, about 12, have suspended temporarily their assistance.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

Trade defence report: restoring the level playing field for European producers

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

Dignified health for all who live here

These Harvard scientists think we’ll have to socially distance until 2022

Are we letting politicians play with migrants’ health?

Collaboration and connectivity at ITU Telecom World 2019

The vegan economy is booming – and Big Food wants a slice of it

Central African Republic: Guterres says UN mission committed to protecting civilians, helping stabilize country, as violence flares

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

Anti-vaccination: a private choice leading to collective outcomes

Lies and reality about incomes and wealth in the EU

5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work

Endocrine disruptors: A strategy for the future that protects EU citizens and the environment

Protect women’s rights ‘before, during and after conflict’ UN chief tells high-level Security Council debate

In Yemen, Special Envoy sees UN role in preserving ‘essential’ aid pipeline at country’s major port

Humanitarian aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

Making Artificial Intelligence ethical, safe and innovative

North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid ‘increased sophistication’ of attackers, warns UN

The EU invites the US and Russia to partition Ukraine

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Pandemic and quarantine: What can we do for our mental health?

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

We can save our ocean in three steps – if we act now

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

‘Critical moment’ for sustainable development, UN chief tells major financing forum

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

New technologies, artificial intelligence aid fight against global terrorism

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

The COVID-19 recovery can be the vaccine for climate change

The importance of collaboration in the digital economy

Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine

Samoa measles outbreak claims 70 lives, majority are children under five

Survivors of ISIL terror in Iraq want justice, not revenge, says head of UN investigation team

Joint Statement on European Immunization Week 2021: Celebrating the past, present and future benefits of vaccines

‘Ghost fishing’ is threatening our oceans. Here’s how we can tackle it

A good night’s sleep ‘washes’ your brain, scientists say

“Cyber security is a shared responsibility: stop, think, connect”, a Sting Exclusive by EU Commissioner Gabriel

Sanity in times of COVID-19

Syria: At least seven children killed in yet another airstrike

Why exporters need to mind the trade finance gap

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

Why cybersecurity should be standard due diligence for investors

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

These are the world’s most fragile states in 2019

270 million people are migrants, who send home a staggering $689 billion

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Aid funding for Occupied Palestinian Territories at ‘all-time low’

How the digital economy is shaping a new Bangladesh

The world is getting angrier, according to a new poll

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s