Humanitarian Crisis Deepens as Afrin IDPs in Northern Aleppo Face Fuel Blockade and Blackout
In a worsening humanitarian crisis, internally displaced people (IDPs) from northwest Syria's Kurdish city of Afrin, currently residing in northern Aleppo's Shahba region, are confronting significant challenges exacerbated by the Syrian regime's fuel blockade. This blockade has not only halted the education process but also plunged the region into complete darkness due to a prolonged electricity blackout.
The Shahba and Afrin Canton education authority announced on Sunday that, "Due to the blockade and the lack of transportation and heating fuel, the education process in the canton has been suspended indefinitely."
Ibrahim Shekho, a legal activist from Afrin living in Shahba, accused the Syrian military's fourth division of enforcing the blockade, resulting in the closure of schools. Shekho stated, "The fourth division of the Syrian military does not allow fuel to enter, and they impose harsh conditions on the Autonomous Administration, even though they take their share of the financial sums."
Approximately 14,500 students attend 68 schools and institutions in the Shahba region, according to information obtained by Rudaw.
The region has experienced a severe electricity blackout over the last three days due to the lack of fuel, further intensifying hardships for those residing in IDP camps.
"If the situation continues like this for a week, the Avrin Hospital in Shahba region will also go out of commission, and the work of bakeries and water sources will also be at risk of shutting down," warned the activist.
The Shahba region is home to around 150,000 people, with 100,000 being IDPs from Afrin. Approximately 10,000 of these IDPs live in camps, while the rest reside in various towns and villages.
Shahba, located 15 kilometers north of Aleppo city, is under the authority of the Syrian government in terms of security and military, but the affairs of the displaced people from Afrin are managed by northeast Syria’s Autonomous Administration of Afrin and Shahba. The worsening conditions highlight the urgent need for international attention and assistance to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the fuel blockade and blackout.