Syria

United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi – Statement on Deaths in Fire Incident at Al Hol Camp [EN/AR]

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Damascus and Amman, 28 February 2021

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr. Muhannad Hadi, have expressed sorrow over a deadly fire at Al Hol camp, northeast Syria. Initial reports indicate that at least four residents, including three children and one woman, died in the tragic accident, and at least 26 residents were injured.
According to reports, in the early evening of 27 February, a fire broke out during a family gathering among displaced Syrian camp residents. In addition to the three children and one woman who died, at least 15 children were among those injured. At least 20 people overall remain in hospital, with six reported to be in critical condition.

Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi extend their heartfelt sympathy to the affected families and wish those injured a speedy recovery. They further emphasize that this distressing event underlines the fact that no one – most of all innocent children – should be living under the challenging and potentially dangerous humanitarian conditions in Al Hol camp.
Humanitarian partners working at Al Hol have mobilized to provide urgent assistance to those affected. The UN and humanitarian partners provide a comprehensive range of humanitarian assistance to the camp, including emergency and primary health care; water; shelter; non-food items, food and hygiene distributions; nutrition; and protection.
With almost 62,000 residents, Al Hol is the largest camp for displaced people in Syria.
More than 80 per cent of the population are women and children. Accidental fires are not uncommon in the camp, with families often resorting to using cooking stoves inside their tents for warmth, particularly during winter when temperatures regularly drop below freezing.

Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi express their concern that unless measures are taken to address the long-term welfare of camp residents, more tragic incidents at Al Hol are inevitable.
They urge all relevant parties to work to find durable solutions for every person living in the camp, which must be informed, voluntary, and dignified.

For further information:

Danielle Moylan, Spokesperson OCHA Syria, moylan@un.org

Torsten Flyng, Strategic Communications Officer, OCHA Regional Office for the Syria Crisis, torsten.flyng@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.