Type to search

Thousands Return To The Freezing Ruins Of Aleppo

Headlines Middle East Reuters World

Thousands Return To The Freezing Ruins Of Aleppo

Share
Aleppo

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Thousands of people are starting to return to formerly rebel-held east Aleppo despite freezing weather and destruction “beyond imagination”, a top U.N. official told Reuters from the Syrian city.

In the last couple of days around 2,200 families have returned to the Hanano housing district, said Sajjad Malik, country representative in Syria for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“People are coming out to east Aleppo to see their shops, their houses, to see if the building is standing and the house is not that looted … to see, should they come back,” he said in an interview.

But given the appalling conditions, the U.N. is not encouraging people to return.

“It is extremely, bitterly cold here,” said Malik. “The houses people are going back to have no windows or doors, no cooking facilities.”

Aid is vital to prevent more deaths. The U.N. is helping people to restart their lives in one room of their apartments to start with, he said, giving them mats, sleeping bags and plastic sheets to cover blown-out windows.

BREAD AND WATER

Hanano was one of the first Aleppo neighborhoods to fall to rebels in 2012, and the first to be retaken by the Syrian government on its way to seizing back full control of the northern city last month – the biggest victory for President Bashar al-Assad in nearly six years of war.

As government forces rapidly advanced, some residents stayed put, tens of thousands fled of their own accord and around 35,000 fighters and civilians were evacuated in late December in convoys organized by the Syrian government.

After months of fierce Syrian and Russian air strikes, reconstruction will take a long time, Malik said, but the immediate priority is to keep people warm and fed. U.N.-supported partners provide hot meals twice a day to 21,000 people, and 40,000 people get baked bread every day.

Over 1.1 million people once again have access to clean water in bottles or through tankers and wells.

Mobile clinics are up and running, and more than 10,000 children have received polio vaccinations. Thousands of children who have not been able to attend school need reintegrating into the education system through remedial classes to rebuild their confidence, Malik said.

There was no register of births, deaths and marriages in the rebel-held sector, so the U.N. is working with the government to issue people with papers. “I met a woman with five children and she was excited that she now has her kids registered as Syrians. She has ID cards and a family book,” he said.

Bombing has destroyed hospitals, schools, roads and houses, and damaged the two main water pumping stations. The experienced U.N. official said the level of destruction surpassed anything he had seen in conflict zones like Afghanistan and Somalia.

“Nothing would have prepared us to see the scale of destruction there, it’s beyond imagination.”

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

IMAGE: Samah, 11, and her brother, Ibrahim, transport their salvaged belongings from their damaged house in Doudyan village in northern Aleppo Governorate, Syria, January 2, 2017. Picture taken January 2, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Tags:

11 Comments

  1. debra.ziegler January 4, 2017

    I’ve earned $84 ,000 at this point sometime this year working online and I’m a full time college student . I’m implementing a web based business project I discovered and I’ve generated such type of decent money . It is undoubtedly user-friendly and uncomplicated and I’m just very happy that I found out about it . The potential using this is end-less . Here’s what exactly I do>>>
    http://disq.us/url?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsecure60.weebly.com%3A9PwzMi4DpLLpQz0MnrJh3KUnBlY&cuid=424372

    Reply
  2. judy.campbell January 9, 2017

    Amazing stay-at-home work opportunity for everyone… Start working for 3-8 hrs daily and start earning from 5k-12k dollars monthly… Payments are weekly…
    -> START WORKING IMMEDIATELY!!!! <-

    Reply
  3. sharon-miller January 12, 2017

    Analyse following information to discover how an individual mommy was able to acquire $89,844/year in her free time on her PC without selling anything>>>
    -> START WORKING IMMEDIATELY!!!! <-

    Reply
  4. sarah.zwilling January 13, 2017

    Look through following information to learn the way an individual mom was able to make $89,844/year in her spare time on her laptop or computer without selling anything>>>
    -> START WORKING IMMEDIATELY!!!! <-

    Reply
  5. Alexandra Goodwin January 14, 2017

    Browse through following report to learn how an individual mother was able to make $89,844/year in her spare time on her laptop computer without selling anything>>>
    -> START WORKING IMMEDIATELY!!!! <-

    Reply
  6. Allison Murray January 15, 2017

    Look over following information to discover how a single parent was able to make $89,844/year in her extra time on her personal pc without selling anything>>>
    -> START WORKING IMMEDIATELY!!!! <-

    Reply
  7. Ryan Evans January 17, 2017

    Analyse following information to discover how a single parent was able to acquire $89,844/year in her spare time on her PC without selling anything>>>
    -> START WORKING IMMEDIATELY!!!! <-

    Reply
  8. Katie Watkins January 18, 2017

    Look through following information to figure out how an individual mother was able to make $89,844/year in her spare time on her computer without selling anything>>>
    -> START WORKING IMMEDIATELY!!!! <-

    Reply
  9. constance_stanley January 20, 2017

    GOOGLE is helping consumers to get started with “Work at home” method, that Thousands of marketers have been doing more than 12 months now. This year alone, I generated around $36k by far with nothing but my home computer and some leisure time, even though i have a fulltime 9 to 5 job. Even most people not used to this, actually make $50/per h easily and the profit can be even higher over a period of time… This is how i started>>
    http://ow.ly/mS4I300yJnK

    Reply
  10. Clara McCartney January 23, 2017

    This is the way it is possible to make quite great earning monthly… You can do it for yourself! After been without work for half a year, I started off freelancing over this website and at this time i couldn’t be more happy. After 6 months on my new job my month-to-month income is around 12k per 30 days…>> http://www.facebook.com/Tina-E-King-610592265811198/app/208195102528120/

    Reply
  11. Peter Mitchell January 25, 2017

    This is how you possibly can make a very great income on a monthly basis… You can look at it yourself! After been without work for six months time, I started out freelancing over this online site and at the present i couldn’t be happier. After six months time on my new job opportunity my per month earnings are around 12k a month…>> http://www.facebook.com/For-US-UK-Canada-Australia-and-New-Zealand-1081278581977571/app/208195102528120/

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.