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Al-Rukban, Syria Camp Experiencing Water, Medicine, Food Shortages and TB in Inuit Nunavut Community

May 26- June 1, 2022 | Issue 10 - Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2)

Megan Bilney, Alyssa Schmidt, EMH2 Team

Manja Vitasovic, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



Map of Syria[1]



Date: May 27, 2022

Location: Rukban, Syria

Parties involved: Al-Rukban residents; internally displaced persons (IDPs); Russian forces; Syrian forces; civilian soldiers; child soldiers

The event: The Al-Rukban camp is experiencing water shortages, and has received no medicine and limited food supply in the last two months, due to a Russian and Syrian regime siege, aimed at limiting the camp’s supplies.[2] The camp is located on the Syrian border with Jordan and Iraq, and accommodates approximately 10,000 IDPs, 80% being women and children.[3] The siege aims at forcing camp residents to return to regime-controlled areas in Syria, but many IDPs who have left the camp have been arrested, tortured and forced to fight.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Inability to supply the camp with food and medicine will almost certainly disable immediate medical assistance. Medical conditions will likely require complex treatments and operations without medication, and medical staff will likely improvise treatment methods, likely to use less supplies. Diseases will very likely spread, likely increasing the mortality rate and likely exacerbating camp living conditions.

  • The supplies shortages will likely deteriorate camp conditions, likely forcing camp residents to leave, temporarily or permanently, likely to seek the supplies and better living conditions. Leaving the camp will likely put them at risk of being arrested or conscripted into the military. Forced enlisting could likely raise numbers of orphans due to the likely high mortality rate of civilian soldiers. Children who become child soldiers will likely become traumatized and develop long-term physical and mental illnesses.


Date: May 30, 2022

Location: Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada

Parties involved: Inuit community; Nunavut government; Canadian residents

The event: Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic reported 31 active tuberculosis (TB) cases and 108 latent TB cases. Latent TB increases the risk of developing active TB and resistance to the vaccine. The Inuit community has an average annual TB rate 290 times higher than other non-indigenous Canadian residents due to overcrowded homes, poverty, and low medical care access. Treatment costs the Nunavut government around 10 million CAD a year.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • TB will likely continue to spread among the Inuit, likely increasing the need for medical care. Some Inuit will unlikely be able to afford medical care and will unlikely seek medical help. The case increase will likely increase the need for government aid and programs, likely to prevent further spread.

  • The TB spread will likely cause the disease mutations, likely making it less susceptible to treatment. A TB mutation will likely fasten its spread, or will likely alter the symptoms. This will likely increase infections and fatalities among the Inuit.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Syrian Civil War map” by Ermanarich licensed under Creative Commons

[2] Ongoing siege | Al-Rukban camp runs out of most of medicines and inhabitants appeal to humanitarian organization to interfere, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, May 2022, https://www.syriahr.com/en/253359/

[3] Syrians struggle to survive in “no man’s land” desert camp, Al Jazeera, May 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/19/syrians-struggle-survive-no-mans-land-desert-camp

[4] Conditions continue to spiral in Syria’s Rukban camp as regime tightens siege, Middle East Monitor, May 2022, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220523-conditions-continue-to-spiral-in-syrias-rukban-camp-as-regime-tightens-siege/

[5] Canadian Arctic tuberculosis outbreak lays bare overcrowded living conditions, The Guardian, May 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/30/canada-tuberculosis-outbreak-nunavut

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