More than two million displaced people living in northwestern Syria are bracing themselves for an impending winter that will exacerbate their already unbearable living conditions. Every winter, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) sees the season's alarming health impacts. “My son is constantly suffering from stomach aches and colds,” said Ahmad Mahmoud Merhi. “My other child’s temperature reached 40 degrees [104 degrees Fahrenheit]. A rash spread in his mouth, hands, and legs due to the fever. But we couldn’t afford to take him to the doctor.”
MSF teams are currently undertaking a range of activities to mitigate the impact of winter weather on displaced people in the region, including distributing kits of clothes and blankets to approximately 3,000 families and installing tent flooring, roof isolation, and thermal insulation for 3,900 families, to prevent flooding and help protect them from freezing temperatures. While humanitarian needs are increasing in Syria, funding to address them is drastically decreasing. More funding and additional support from other organizations are urgently needed for winterization activities, before winter arrives.