Displaced Syrians in Idlib are having ‘a very bad Ramadan’ amid coronavirus

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In unreliable tents and under fear of the spread of coronavirus, internally-displaced Syrians in the camp of Qah village in Idlib called on the international community to take them back to their houses this Ramadan so that they can “stay home” and away from the pandemic which swept the world.

"We hope that they return us to our homes and to our villages. Because here, God forbid, if a pandemic took place it will be dangerous," said Fadel al-Alun, a resident of the camp.

Fasting during Ramadan hasn’t changed much in the diet of Idlib’s internally displaced Syrians. With expensive food, having more than a meal a day had long been a luxury.

“We have 500 Syrian pounds (less than $0.5) for shopping and it is not enough. We rely on eggs, as it is the cheapest of the food products," Maher al-Ahmad said.

War-torn Syria has recorded as of Sunday 50 cases of coronavirus and four deaths.

Russian-backed regime forces have since late April 2019 waged two deadly military campaigns against Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib, which has become home for some three million people.

A ceasefire has largely held since early March, but hundreds of thousands remain displaced and highly dependent on aid even as the region braces for a possible outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

With agencies

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