As thousands of civilians flee air strikes and shelling in North East Syria, aid agencies witness an escalation of the humanitarian crisis. The UN estimates that more than 160,000 people have been displaced so far and believes up to 400,000 people could be displaced in the area if the violence keeps escalating.
While the need for humanitarian aid has dramatically increased, the escalation of violence has forced many international NGOs to temporarily suspend service delivery and reassess their presence and interventions. Aid workers and fleeing families speak of the uncertainty and fear gripping the region, where nobody knows what is going to happen next or where might be a safe place to shelter.
According to UNHCR, more than 1,000 Syrians have crossed from north-east Syria into neighboring Iraq since the eruption of violence. “We fear further displacement and spill over into Iraq where more than 250,000 Syrian refugees have already sought refuge, including 90,000 living in camps relying on humanitarian assistance,” says Angelita Caredda, Director of the Syria Response Office for the Norwegian Refugee Council.
UNHCR expects up to 50,000 may cross in the next three months who would need to be accommodated in camps and provided with water, food, blankets and other essential aid.
[Norwegian Refugee Council]