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Syria: "Between two fires" - danger and desperation in Al-Hol

10 Jan 23 | 17 Apr 24

Syria: "Between two fires" - danger and desperation in Al-Hol


In this episode of Everyday Emergency, we take a look at the health situation inside Al Hol, a detention camp in northeast Syria that has become an open-air prison.

Warning: This episode contains testimony related to child deaths that some listeners may find distressing.

The camp was once designed to provide safe, temporary accommodation and humanitarian services to civilians displaced by the conflict in Syria and Iraq. But the nature and purpose of the camp has veered off course and grown increasingly into an unsafe and unsanitary open-air prison after people were moved there from Islamic State group controlled territories in December 2018.

A new report by MSF lays bare the cruelty of the long-term detainment of more than 50,000 people, the majority of whom are children.

MSF in Syria

War has raged in Syria for over a decade, killing hundreds of thousands of people, displacing millions more, and causing widespread destruction and suffering. Civilian areas have been routinely bombed and deprived of assistance, and access to healthcare remains extremely poor in many areas.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) operates in Syria where it can, but ongoing insecurity and access constraints severely limit our activities and hamper our ability to provide humanitarian assistance that matches the scale of the needs.