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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Syria

16 Oct 2020

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Al Hol camp, Hasakeh Governorate, Syria, June 2019. Credit: OCHA/Halldorsson

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 16 October 2020

Syria

The UN is concerned about the plight of more than 64,000 people living in challenging humanitarian conditions at the Al Hol camp in the north-east of Syria, in particular women and children, who make up about 94 per cent of the population.

There are around 34,000 children under the age of 12 in Al Hol. More than 120 of them are unaccompanied or separated from their families and living in an interim care centre at the camp.

Conditions in Al Hol are difficult by any measure. In the past month, humanitarians have expressed alarm at the deteriorating security situation in the camp following a rise in violent incidents.

In addition, four cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed so far in the camp. Testing is relatively limited, and a wider outbreak remains a significant risk.

While the UN and humanitarian partners are providing comprehensive assistance to the camp, the UN stresses that this cannot be a substitute for durable solutions for all residents.

In the past two months, more than 1,000 people – mostly displaced Syrian families, but also nationals from other countries – are reported to have left the camp.

This includes 16 Russian children, one British and one Canadian child, all who were reported to have been repatriated to their home countries.

There have also been reports of plans by local authorities to expedite and increase departures of displaced Syrian families in the coming months.

The UN emphasizes that any departures must be voluntary, safe, fully informed and dignified, and in the best interests of the children.