Another 142,000 people have fled air strikes and advancing troops in Syria’s Idlib province this week, bringing the total number of those uprooted since 1 December to over 800,000, the UN said on Thursday. At least 60 per cent of those displaced are estimated to be children. Reuters reports that fleeing families are sleeping rough in streets and olive groves and burning toxic bundles of rubbish to stay warm in bitterly cold winter weather. Relief workers said several children had died in the last week alone due to the freezing temperatures. In one camp in northern Idlib, a family of four died of suffocation on Tuesday after inhaling fumes from a fire they had made with old clothing, shoes and cardboard. Many local aid workers have themselves been displaced, making it difficult for them to respond to humanitarian needs that are “increasing exponentially”. Ahmed Mahmoud, Syria country director for Islamic Relief, writes that 90 per cent of his staff in the region have been forced to flee their homes and are battling to provide food and shelter to thousands of other displaced people.