The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has revealed that two baby girls — one just seven days old, the other two months old — have died as a result of severe winter conditions in tented internal displacement camps in Syria's Idlib province. Snow and rain have destroyed hundreds of tents used by the displaced persons.
According to AFP, the two babies were pronounced dead at Al-Rahman Specialist Hospital in the town of Hannoush. Like other hospitals in Idlib, staff there have received a large number of children suffering from bronchitis as a result of the cold and damp.
"Children [in these camps] are at risk of cold, living in worn-out tents, and there is a shortage of winter clothes and fuel," said OCHA spokesman Patrick Nicholson. "The problem is worsening due to the economic crisis and lack of resources necessary to provide winter aid."
The UN OCHA pointed out that in January alone the severe weather conditions destroyed at least 935 tents and damaged 9,000 more in a number of displacement sites in northern Syria. The use of open flames and dangerous heating appliances have caused numerous fires, resulting in casualties as well as the loss of shelters. At least two displaced persons have been killed in such fires, with 24 wounded.