UN alerts on COVID-19 outbreak in Al Hol refugee camp

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The United Nations has shown its concern on Friday about the “significant risk” of a coronavirus outbreak in the Al Hol refugee camp, located on the border between Syria and Iraq, where, to date, four cases of the disease have been detected.

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric has echoed the concern of humanitarian workers on the ground and stated that the detection ability It is “relatively limited” and that the institution together with its partners are providing assistance but that this cannot replace “durable solutions”.

Insecurity and violence

According to the Executive Director of Unicef, Heretta Fore, in a statement released by the UN, the movement restrictions and the quarantine they are turning “a critical situation into something even worse”, as due to the coronavirus some health and educational services have been stopped and there are fewer workers.

There are around 64,000 people in Al Hol camp, of whom 94 per cent are women and children, who lived in the territory formerly ruled by the Islamic State. Dujarric has reported that humanitarian workers have warned of a “deterioration” in security and an increase in violent incidents in the refugee camp.

Inhuman conditions

A September report from the HIM-HER-IT He already described the conditions of the place as “inhumane” and called on the international community to take action to find a solution, since several States showed “little will” to repatriate the inhabitants of the countryside for fear that they had links with extremist ideas.

Dujarric has assured that in the last two months, more than 1,000 people have left the camp and stressed that work is being carried out so that more refugees return to their homes in SyriaBut he has stressed that all Al Hol marches must be “voluntary.”

In addition, the UN spokesperson has urged Turkey to carry out an independent investigation “of the abuses committed” in the north, northwest and northeast of Syria that are under the control of its allied forces or armed groups.

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