The displaced, refugees need support ahead of impending harsh winter


As winter is just around the corner, with temperatures dropping gradually, especially in countries suffering from crises, this brings back into our minds the 2018-winter tragedy of the Syrian refugees, who died in the snow on the Lebanese border where six members of a family froze to death. Besides, another 16 displaced Syrians froze to death in the same year while trying to enter Lebanon.

This painful memory automatically leads to the importance of early reminders of meeting the basic needs of the displaced and refugees globally, who have to face extremely cold months in winter, due to temperatures dropping below zero, as well as storms and heavy rains that engulf their tents and damage their modest homes and camps.

The winter needs of the refugees, who often flee home with just the clothes they wear, include adequate shelters, tents, warm clothes, blankets, fuel, food, medicines, and medical supplies.

As the predictions of international organizations indicate that the 2021-2022 winter season will be difficult for the displaced and refugees, especially due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, support from donors, companies, and philanthropists is more urgently needed to meet the winter needs of the vulnerable.  The early support will contribute to avoiding many risks facing them, especially in times of severe cold, heavy rains and snowfall, which are expected within the next three months.

“There are over 10 million Syrian and Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. UNHCR estimates that 3.3 million people are in need of critical assistance to help them prepare for and cope during the forthcoming winter,” according to UNHCR Regional Winterization Assistance Plan 2021-2022: Syria and Iraq Situations.  “This will be the 11th consecutive winter in displacement for some, and many continue to face increased hardships due to the economic situation and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“UNHCR requires USD 193.4 million to provide life-saving winterization assistance for people in need before the onset of the harsh and challenging winter season. As of August 2021, and thanks to timely and generous contributions from donors, these requirements are 56 per cent funded, leaving a gap of USD 84.2 million,” says the report.

The displaced and refugees live in substandard accommodations and are unable to afford the additional costs of fuel and warm clothes, and they, therefore, have to make very challenging decisions like cutting back on spending on basic necessities like food and medicines.

The worsening situation of the displaced and refugees requires everyone to support them by delivering quick aid to them and meeting their basic needs through winter campaigns, which are launched by humanitarian organizations to protect these people from any imminent dangers. Here, we should keep in our mind that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.


Source: Qatar Charity