Newborn Girl Dumped in Dumpster in Damascus Countryside
In a heart-wrenching incident, a newborn girl was discovered abandoned by her parents under mysterious circumstances. The infant was found inside a bag, discarded in a dumpster in the town of Al-Sabina in Damascus Countryside province. Civilians who made the discovery immediately rushed her to a nearby hospital for medical attention and further investigations. This case marks the 33rd documented instance of newborn abandonment in Syria since the beginning of 2023, shedding light on a disturbing trend that has plagued the country.
Abandoned Babies in Syria:
According to statistics from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the number of abandoned newborns in Syria has reached a distressing figure of 33 for this year alone. The cases are distributed across different regions, with 14 incidents reported in areas under the control of the Assad regime, 16 in areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and three in areas of the Syrian opposition in northwest Syria. Syrians for Truth and Justice have also reported that over 100 newborn babies were found abandoned in various regions of Syria in 2021 and 2022. However, it is widely believed that the actual number of abandoned babies is significantly higher than documented, indicating the magnitude of this crisis.
Reasons Behind Abandonment:
Numerous reasons have been suggested to explain this horrific phenomenon. Illicit relationships and the deteriorating living conditions in the country are among the primary factors leading to the abandonment of newborns. Prior to the outbreak of the war in 2011, incidents of abandoned babies in Syria were relatively rare. However, the ongoing war has exacerbated the situation, plunging a significant portion of the population into extreme poverty and leaving them to grapple with skyrocketing prices and diminishing public services.
Various regions across Syria have witnessed heart-wrenching incidents of newborn abandonment. The regime’s Interior Ministry in Damascus has published details of distressing findings, such as babies being discovered in gardens in Aleppo, thrown in wheat fields in Hama, and even abandoned in wells in Homs. These heartrending discoveries serve as a stark reminder of the desperate circumstances faced by vulnerable infants.
The Plight of Poverty:
The prevalence of extreme poverty in Syria is considered the leading cause behind the abandonment of newborns. According to the United Nations, more than 90 percent of Syrians currently live below the poverty line, struggling with exorbitant prices and a decline in public services. The collapse of the Syrian pound against the US dollar further exacerbates the situation, with the exchange rate currently at 9,000 Syrian pounds to the dollar. In this dire economic landscape, the average monthly wage amounts to a meager 125,000 Syrian pounds, equivalent to a mere $14.
The increasing number of abandoned newborns in Syria is a distressing and tragic phenomenon that highlights the severe consequences of prolonged war, poverty, and deteriorating living conditions. Efforts must be made to address the root causes of this crisis, including providing support for struggling families, improving access to essential services, and promoting awareness and education on family planning and child welfare. Only through comprehensive measures can Syrian society work towards safeguarding the well-being and future of its most vulnerable members.