Bonn, 12/01/2018. Welthungerhilfe demands that the heavy air strikes in the province of Idlib in the north-west of Syria must be stopped immediately. The Syrian government has been carrying out a large-scale military offensive in Idlib and parts of Aleppo and Hama since November, to drive out rebels. This has involved up to 20 air strikes per day on villages and towns. Civilian facilities such as hospitals and markets have been repeatedly hit. More than 150,000 people have been fleeing the ongoing conflict since December.
“The humanitarian situation in the north of Syria is disastrous. Current hostilities have displaced many families for the third or fourth time. One in every two inhabitants of Idlib is a displaced person. The few refugee camps in operation are completely overloaded, as there is a lack of urgently needed materials such as tents, food and medicine. Over 6 million people face the threat of hunger. Those providing humanitarian assistance need unhindered access to those needing help, and the air strikes must be stopped immediately”, demands Dirk Hegmanns, Welthungerhilfe Regional Director for Syria and Turkey.
Welthungerhilfe has been active in the affected areas of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo since 2012, where it has been supporting people with food, and clothing and blankets in the winter months. Nutrition levels are particularly poor in these areas. Welthungerhilfe has worked with local partners to restore the water supply in many areas. The organisation currently supplies refugees with vouchers for food and hygiene items, such as soap, toothpaste and water containers.
Dirk Hegmanns is available for interviews.