On February 27, MSF began distributing 300 tons of compressed wood fuel blocks to more than 20,000 people. Distribution will take place over the next two weeks in 23 displacement camps in northwestern Syria to provide a safer alternative to current heating methods. Recently a family of four died of suffocation after burning poor quality fuel to heat their tent.
People urgently need other essential items to protect them from the cold, such as blankets, mattresses, and warm clothes. MSF teams are currently organizing a supply of tents and relief items for 2,800 families. This comes in addition to MSF providing nearly 1,000 cubic metres of clean water per day to supply 41,000 people.
MSF plans to significantly scale-up its activities in northwestern Syria in the coming weeks, including distributing essential relief items such as tents, cooking sets, floor mats, and blankets. MSF is also planning to provide trauma care and to reinforce basic healthcare for the displaced. But MSF’s ability to increase its assistance depends on the Turkish authorities facilitating the movement of supplies and international staff to the area across the Turkish border. MSF currently has no international staff present in northwestern Syria and many of its Syrian staff are exhausted and need support after years of working in extremely difficult conditions.
MSF has no permanent presence in Turkey. To be able to scale up our response, MSF asks all relevant Turkish authorities to immediately facilitate the transit of staff and essential supplies into northwest Syria.