Toxic smoke from the sulphur factory north of Qayyarah that was set ablaze on 21 October is causing severe respiratory problems: between 600 and 800 people have fled south to seek medical assistance in clinics in Hajj Ali, Jahalla, Makhmur and Qayyarah. The clinics require specific drugs to treat the respiratory problems, and difficulties have been experienced in transporting oxygen into Qayyarah on account of security clearance issues.
A rapid protection assessment conducted in Qayyarah identified a number of high risk protection concerns, including a large number of civilian injuries due to the military operations. Displaced people also reported that basic provisions including food and water were not made available to them at the mustering sites, and that they were required to have a sponsor to leave the site. The majority of people included in the assessment are now staying in host communities.
Partners are providing emergency assistance to people arriving in sites in and around Qayyarah, and in Debaga and Zelikan camps. As of 22 October, seven camps are ready to receive displaced people, with a total of 10,044 available plots that could house 60,264 people. Access to people in need of assistance close to the front lines is currently a major challenge.