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Syria

The heat is killing the Syrians

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3 minutes

For every summer to come, the people living in refugee camps are afraid of their lives. Extremely high temperatures are a real threat that they will not be able to protect against. They fled their homes before the war. But there is no escape from the heat and drought.

In Syria and Iraq, temperatures are now reaching 50 degrees Celsius. One cannot forget the heat – by eight in the morning, the foil tent had already warmed up and turned into an oven. The parents will spend the next hours in a makeshift kitchen, pouring water from a bowl on their children to relieve them at least a little. Some of them will have to go to the clinic along a path with no shadow at all. Some mothers will come back without their children whose temperatures are lethal. About 80% of admissions in the camps are associated with spoiled food poisoning, diarrhea, and vomiting caused by eating spoiled food and overheating of the body.

“The number of people visiting clinics with complications related to high temperatures has increased dramatically. There are no clinics in some camps, so a person affected by a stroke must find the means to arrange transportation to the nearest doctor”

says MałgorzataOlasińska-Chart

The elderly and the youngest suffer the most, as their organisms cannot withstand the extreme conditions that last for weeks. Dust-contaminated air makes breathing difficult and causes skin diseases. Rare windmills blow the thick hot air inside the tent for several hours a day, without giving much relief. Without constant access to electricity, the possibilities of assistance are limited to the provision of water and medicine for victims of poisoning and insect bites. There are no underground sewers in the camps, the polluted water from the tents flows directly onto the street, where it forms rotting puddles full of hazards. Without cleansing rain, stagnant water is a breeding ground for disease.

A study by the UNHCR found that non-disaster persons – including refugees, stateless persons, and internally displaced persons – are frequently present at what is known as climate change hotspots and may be at risk of secondary displacement. Fleeing the dangers to which they were exposed in their own home, they fall victim to another catastrophe.

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