Between two fires: danger and desperation in Syria's Al Hol camp

19 Jan 23

This audio story focuses on Al Hol camp in northeast Syria, where an abandoned population of around 53,000 people, the majority of whom are children, are trapped in a world of criminality, violence and exploitation, and prison-like conditions with no end in sight. In this story, we hear testimonies from people detained at Al Hol, along with a Syrian staff member who works at the camp, and also former Al Hol Medical Team Leader Canadian Dr Reza Eshagian who shares how, among the many shocking things he saw, the death of a 9-year-old girl with kidney failure still haunts him to this day.

MSF launched a response in Al Hol camp in January 2019, initially supporting the provision of emergency medical care in the reception area for new arrivals and providing essential relief items. MSF donated 309 family tents, 251 hygiene kits, 24,000 blankets and 1,079 kitchen kits.

Based on people’s needs, MSF quickly expanded this support to include providing emergency triage in the reception area and constructing water and sanitation facilities. In February 2019, MSF opened a comprehensive primary health facility in the camp providing round-the-clock emergency care. Since opening, MSF teams have treated 17,113 patients, 1,238 of them for medical emergencies. 

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