The Al-Hol refugee camp in northeastern Syria is overloaded and is struggling to keep pace with the growing number of new arrivals, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer said on Friday.
“I have seen the dire conditions and witnessed the efforts to manage the tens of thousands of people pouring into the camp – now hosting over 74,000 people. The needs are huge and the camp is overwhelmed,” Maurer said in a statement upon ending his five-day visit to Syria.
Maurer stressed that the ICRC was working along with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in the camp to provide assistance to people residing there.
“In Al Hol camp, together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), we are doing the best we can to feed the new arrivals, ensure access to water, provide tents and basic medical care, and put families back in touch.
But its clear much more is needed – more shelter, more food, more clean water, better sanitation, more health services,” the ICRC president added.
Al-Hol was reportedly designed to accommodate 20,000 people but has gone three times over its capacity as military operations against the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia) in the Euphrates Valley have intensified. The refugee camp accepts people who have fled from Deir ez-Zor province, where the international US-led coalition is carrying out attacks not only on militant positions but also civilian targets.