UPDATED 7:41 AM PT – Thursday, July 18, 2019
The United Nations is sounding the alarm over a dire humanitarian situation in Syrian refugee camps. In a statement Wednesday, the intergovernmental organization said up to 70,000 displaced persons still remain in the al-Hol camp in Northern Syria.
Up to 90-percent of the camp’s population are women and children, who fled from areas controlled by the Islamic State or affected by fighting. 20,000 of these children come from Syria, and another 10,000 are from Iraq.
According to the UN, some of the displaced persons still sympathize with ISIS, while others continue to incite violence among the refugee population.
“There are a number of elements around that and also not everybody is the same in the camp, I mean there is a scale of grades between more extremism and less extremism there, so education is absolutely fundamental,” stated Fran Rquiza, Syria representative for UNICEF. “So, we really call for the countries to repatriate their children and help them to grow in a completely different environment.”
UN officials urged efforts to improve basic health care, food, and sanitation at the camp as well as a quicker de-radicalization of its residents.