ICRC appoints Special Coordinator for Northeast Syria

Article 26 September 2022 Syria

The humanitarian situation in Northeast Syria is untenable: basic conditions are deteriorating both inside and outside of camps and places of detention. As of mid-2022, more than 58,000 people remain in Al Hol, the largest of the camps, 70% of whom are children. People of multiple nationalities, including a majority of Syrian and Iraqi nationals, suffer poor access to health services, adequate food, and infrastructure. With the complexity of the political and security environment, prospects for returns and repatriations and an end to arbitrary deprivation of liberty are bleak.

Following consultations with several concerned states on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Week in New York, the President of the ICRC today announces a new appointment of a Special Coordinator for Northeast Syria.

ICRC's Special Coordinator will engage with states, peer organizations and other concerned actors toward accelerated action to alleviate immediate humanitarian concerns and for sustainable long-term solutions for the populations stranded in the camps and in places of detention.

With a dedicated coordinator and stepped-up diplomatic engagement, the ICRC aims to mobilize urgent assistance to alleviate the immediate crisis conditions, and facilitate sharing of experiences and learning among states for returns/repatriations, in particular for women and children, and with due respect for family unity, non-refoulement, dignity and due process. Efforts will also be made to gather increased international support for the dignified and voluntary return of Syrians and Iraqis to their homes, including efforts to promote integration and prevent stigmatization, as well as individualized solutions where needed.