UN expresses concern over violence in Hol Camp

Following the murder of a paramedic at Hol Camp, the UN has expressed concern about the rise in violence at the reception and detention camp in northeastern Syria and called for steps to address ongoing security problems.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi, expressed their sorrow over the tragic death of a Syrian aid worker killed in an armed attack at an Hol Camp health facility.

According to reports, on January 11, an armed individual entered the heath facility and killed a staff member of the local relief organization that is jointly run with an NGO. This abhorrent attack is a reminder that the security situation in north-east Syria remains unacceptable, the statement on Friday said.

On behalf of the entire humanitarian community in Syria, Riza and Hadi sent sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victim and called on all parties with influence to ensure appropriate security measures to allow humanitarian assistance to continue to be delivered in a safe and effective manner.

Over the past year, Hol has seen a significant increase in violence among residents, with a range of horrific attacks reported. Since January 2021 to date, the UN has received reports of 90 murders of Syrian and Iraqi camp residents, including at least two humanitarian workers. Many others have been seriously injured.

Hol, the largest camp for refugees and internally displaced people in Syria, consists of about 56,000 people, more than half of whom are under the age of 18. Such violence places residents under extreme stress, harming their mental health and longer-term prospects.

“The UN and other humanitarian organizations remain committed to mobilizing and delivering regular life-saving and essential aid to the camp but can only do so effectively when steps are taken to address persistent safety issues. Civilians in Hol need dignified, informed, and durable solutions to their displacement. Member States must continue to engage and be part of the answer. It is incumbent on all of us to work collectively towards resolving this issue and uphold the rights, dignity and humanity of each individual living in Hol,” the statement underlined.