Even before conflict broke out in Iraq and Syria, people in the Middle East were suffering from severe water shortages as the past few years’ rising violence and record low rainfall have made access to an adequate quantity and quality of water increasingly difficult, according to a recent report by the ICRC. Many of the ageing water, sanitation and electrical systems that service the region’s growing population were already struggling to keep up with demand even before the conflicts began. Now, with more than 7.5 million people displaced within Syria and some 3.7 million seeking safety in neighbouring countries, already fragile water systems in communities hosting displaced people are being pushed to the limit, and water quality continues to deteriorate.

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