People might think of the Middle East climate as being hot but in Idlib right now temperatures drop to -7C at night and there has been heavy snowfall. So in the flimsy canvas tents in makeshift camps the refugees from the fighting in Idlib province are suffering from freezing cold, little food and the terror of not knowing where they can go to feel safe.
On February 16th The Sunday Times reported the tragic death of a seven month old baby boy, Abdul Wahab in Atmeh Camp near Idlib. The camp doctor told the distraught father that Abdul had frozen to death.
The UN Secretary General confirmed that young children are dying from the cold in this region. Since December 2019 almost 900,000 civilians have fled for their lives to escape the bombing and shelling by the Syrian regime and its allies. Many of these homeless families have had to move on to seek safety more than once during the 9 years of Syrian civil war.
Where can they go? The fighting is pushing civilians towards the Turkish border but Turkey cannot take in any more refugees. Relief efforts are hopelessly inadequate for the vast numbers of needy people. Without stoves or fuel, more children will die of the cold.
The UN Secretary-General is calling for an immediate ceasefire. This is a humanitarian tragedy on a huge scale.
These suffering people are our neighbours, they’re like us, families with children, older people, teenagers with aspirations and dreams, but who are all struggling just to survive in a desperate situation.
Jesus calls us to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12.31).
Make your voice heard and call for an end to their suffering. Write to your MP, to the Prime Minister calling for stronger advocacy from the British Government and support for the UN. Give to the All We Can Syria Refugee Appeal (www.allwecan.org.uk) to support their work with refugees .
Pray for an end to this bitter conflict that continues to cause such immense suffering to so many people.