A displaced family stands in front of their shelter at a camp in the Governant of Idlib Syria in 2013

Statement: humanitarian disaster risk in Idlib

Jean-Pierre Delomier, Humanitarian Action Director at Humanity & Inclusion, made the following statement about the worrying humanitarian situation in Idlib, Syria on Sept. 6:

"While a major military offensive on Idlib is possibly under preparation, Humanity & Inclusion calls on parties to the conflict to spare civilians and allow full and unfettered humanitarian access. The number of Syrians forcibly displaced in Idlib from other areas in Syria, has brought the population in this small pocket of the country up to 3.9 million people. Many civilians who have been displaced in Idlib have already endured intense bombing and offensives in recent months in Eastern Ghouta, Northern Rural Homs, and South Syria.

"Individuals who are displaced struggle to find adequate, affordable accommodations, and many live in overcrowded camps or informal settlements without any protection from airstrikes, no sanitation, no clean drinking water, and a lack of basic services. Humanitarian personnel, and particularly medical facilities provide crucial services for the population at this time and must be protected, and allowed to function. Moderate estimates are that at least 500,000 people will be forced to flee should an offensive be launched.

"Humanity & Inclusion appeals to the international community to use its influence to urge parties to the conflict to stop bombing civilians and avoid a military offensive that would have deadly consequences for civilians. It is imperative that the international community support continued, coordinated humanitarian access to populations in need via the most direct routes."

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Photo: Rarad, 10, lost her leg following a bombing in Syria. Here, she walks through a camp in the Governorate of Idlib, Syria, after receiving crutches and rehabilitation care from HI. (February, 2013)