Urgent update on the situation of women in Daraa

This is an update from Serene, a long-time resident of Daraa. She currently lives at her home in the west of the province.

Photo by Alaa Alfakier

The situation in Daraa is unspeakable, especially in the eastern side. The airstrikes are non stop and we’re hearing about new massacres everyday. Yesterday an entire family, a mother and her four children, were killed in the town of Saida.

The situation in Daraa is unspeakable. The airstrikes are non stop and we’re hearing about new massacres everyday. Yesterday an entire family, a mother and her four children, were killed in the town of Saida.

People are fleeing their homes in numbers we’ve never seen before. In addition to the 60,000 people stranded near the border crossing with Jordan, over 40,000 families have fled to the neighbouring province of Quneitra alone — that’s more than 200,000 people, most of them women and children who fled the bombing only with the clothes on their backs.

Those displaced are living under conditions I can only describe as beyond disastrous. They don’t have the most basic necessities — not even tents to take shelter under. Most of the displaced are in areas with no water supply and very few wells. Bathrooms and showers are a rarity. There’s a severe shortage of medical and cleaning supplies, which are crucial to prevent diseases.

Because many are living in open spaces in the desert, there have been hundreds of cases of snake and scorpion bites, which are especially dangerous for children. At least six children died in the past week from scorpion bites due to the lack of treatment. I tried to send an antidote to the area but I was told there is no space to store it, not even refrigerators.

Every displaced woman I’ve spoken to has lost all hope. We feel that the world has abandoned us, not only the politicians, but also the media. We need the bombs to stop immediately. We need basic necessities — from tents and mattresses to food, water, medicine, and cleaning supplies. We appeal to journalists everywhere to write about Daraa and shed a light on this unprecedented humanitarian disaster before it’s too late.

Contact media@thesyriacampaign.org to organise interviews (in Arabic) with Serene.