Taltita is one of the mountain villages of the Jabal al-Summaq area in north Idlib countryside. Like the other villages of the area, it suffers from a very poor humanitarian situation. To learn more about the situation in Taltita, I conducted an interview with a person in the village on 17 June 2020. This interview is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: What is the number of original inhabitants in Taltita? And the number of IDPs?
A: 5000 residents and 2000 IDPs approximately.
Q: And how would you describe the services and humanitarian situation in general?
A: Brother there are no services and the situation is very bad.
Q: For example electricity is present in the village?
A: Brother for 10 years there has been no electricity or water.
Q: So you rely on solar panels?
A: Exactly but there are poor people who cannot buy the panels.
Q: And the water is from tankers?
A: Exactly brother, but tankers are expensive and the people are very poor.
Q: What is the price of the barrel [of water] currently?
A: Around 50 cents.
Q: But the problem is that the deterioration of the Syrian pound has made the water very expensive right?
A: Yes exactly.
Q: How has the deterioration of the Syrian pound impacted the prices of food goods in the village? For example bread and meat?
A: Brother regarding meat, we have forgotten it. As for the bundle of bread, its price is 1000 Syrian pounds and it is an elevated price relative to the income of the citizen.
Q: So the meat has disappeared from the people's diet for a long time?
A: Yes brother, exactly.
Q: Currently from where does the people's income come? For example from agriculture? Cutting wood? Or what exactly?
A: Agriculture in general but harvests are very weak because of the rugged nature of the land.
Q: And has the weather impacted the agriculture in the recent years? I mean for example lack of rain and this sort of thing.
A: Brother the lack of rain in the past years has negatively impacted the agriculture but the circumstances of the war have impacted more.
Q: Are there any NGOs offering you services or aid?
A: No brother, currently there are none.
Q: In summary what are the most important needs in this difficult time? Do you believe that the transfer to the Turkish lira will help you?
A: Dear brother, the biggest challenge here for the people is the expensiveness of a roll of bread, for there are people who cannot buy bread to feed their children. The transfer to the Turkish lira may help partially.
Q: Do you fear the death of some people from hunger?
A: Yes in fact, there are some people who have died because of malnutrition and it is possible other people will die because of the same problem.