Humanitarian Catastrophe: Hundreds of Thousands Displaced as Shelling Escalates in Southern Idlib Countryside

September 13, 2019

During the past few weeks, regime forces targeted several towns in the northern countryside of Hama and the southern countryside of Idlib, which led to a large wave of displacement towards the northern countryside near the Syrian-Turkish border. This threatens a humanitarian catastrophe due to the increase in the number of displaced people, especially after the regime took over Khan Sheikhoun. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counted the displacement of more than 80,000 civilians from the villages of Maarat al-Numan eastern countryside south of Idlib between August 19 and August 21 alone. Since the end of April 2019, the escalation of the conflict in the northern countryside of Hama and Idlib countryside, the United Nations has counted the displacement of more than 400,000 people from the region towards the safer northern areas near the Turkish border in the northern countryside.

Huge numbers of displaced people are sheltered between the olive trees, dwelling the agricultural land. This illustrates the inability of NGOs to meet the needs of displaced people to provide housing, immediate health services and food. This is due either to a lack of funding and the inability of the organization to meet the needs or the suspension of relief work by some other organizations due to the dangerous situation in several areas in the northern countryside.