Freezing temperatures kill 15 Syrian children

Freezing temperatures kill 15 Syrian children
Freezing temperatures and the lack of medical care have killed at least 15 displaced Syrian children in recent weeks, the United Nations reported on Tuesday (Jan. 15), AFP reported.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said eight of them had died as a result of the cold in the Rukban camp in southeastern Syria and seven others during the displacement from Hajin, further north.

Freezing temperatures and harsh living conditions in Rukban are increasingly putting children's lives at risk, UNICEF regional director Geert Cappelaere said.

"In just one month, at least eight children -- most of them under four months and the youngest only one hour old -- have died," he said.

Cappelaere explained that the cold in the isolated desert camp on the Jordanian border, where 80 percent of the 45,000 residents are women and children, was increasing infant mortality.

The cold snap that has hit the region is also having dire consequences on the people fleeing the fighting in the so-called Hajin pocket in eastern Syria.

"Families seeking safety face difficulties leaving the conflict zone and wait in the cold for days without shelter or basic supplies," Cappelaere said.

"The dangerous and difficult journey has reportedly killed seven children -- most of them under one-year-old" in Hajin, he said.

During the second half of 2018,  several children the al-Rukban camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border due to cold weather, the lack of baby formula, health care and medical supplies.

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