North-West Syria Hub
Displacement Updates in North-West Syria
The overall humanitarian situation remains dire in north-west Syria (NWS), with the population reaching approximately 4.5 million people as of June 2021. Humanitarian needs continue to be driven by the impacts of over a decade of hostilities exacerbated by economic deterioration and multiple displacements.
More than 2.7 million are Internally Displaced People (IDPs), many of whom are living in over-crowded locations with limited access to essential services. As of June 2021, over 1.7 million IDPs were living in 1,393 camps or informal sites. Women and children represent 80 per cent of this caseload while more than 34,000 IDPs are reported to be persons with specific needs.
The expanding impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the lives of people in humanitarian settings in NWS. By the end of June, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 25,570 cases, including 709 deaths and 22,415 recoveries
SNFI Cluster members continue to actively respond to the needs of the newly displaced population as well as protracted IDPs in NWS. In the second quarter of 2021, around 211,000 individuals received NFI assistance in the form of NFI kits, kitchen sets, mattresses, jerry cans, carpets, solar lamps, tarpaulin, and blankets or in the form of multi-purpose cash transfers. In addition, 96,000 people were reached with seasonal/supplementary NFI distributions.
Shelter needs of approximately 159,000 people were addressed during the reporting period. As part of a complementarity approach, some sites and IDPs benefited from more than one SNFI activity. Of this shelter support, 59% was related to the provision of emergency shelter, 31% to the rehabilitation of infrastructure in IDP sites, 9% to shelter rehabilitation and transitional shelters, as well as 1% to rental assistance provision.
As part of the COVID-19 response, as was recommended at the beginning of the pandemic in coordination with the WASH and Health Clusters, Cluster members have so far provided over 434,000 people with additional soap with their NFI distributions in 2021, including close to 13,800 in the second quarter.
The Cluster continues to strongly advocate for better, more dignified, emergency locally built shelters in north-west Syria (NWS). The Cluster and its Technical Working Group (TWiG) has developed and shared an advocacy paper on Dignified and Safer Living Conditions for IDPs in Protracted Crises: North West Syria. This document outlines general principles that should inform SNFI Cluster members approach to shelter in NWS. Importantly, the Dignified Shelter Conceptual Framework documents and endorses the need for a range of shelter options that are appropriate to a range of shelter needs. These include immediate, life-saving interventions as well as humanitarian shelter solutions that reflect situations of protracted displacement and build on the choices that are already being made by IDPs themselves.
The Flood Risk Reduction TWiG, led by SNFI and in collaboration with the CCCM, ERL and WASH Clusters has published the final version of its guidance document in both English and Arabic. Building on the engagement of the TWiG, this document aims to provide basic guidance on infrastructure improvements in IDP sites, camps, and communities in north-west Syria in order to mitigate the risk of floods and contribute effectively to disaster reduction.
Regarding ongoing capacity building, the Cluster’s co-chair organization, Care, led several trainings on Shelter Modalities in the second quarter. These workshops engaged shelter/ NFI cluster members to learn more about the different shelter types and implementation modalities relevant and applicable to the context.
Under the SCHF Reserve Allocation, SNFI received and carefully reviewed project proposals from members. The Cluster’s priority areas of intervention for this allocation are provision of NFIs, fuel and flood prevention needs focusing on high severity needs areas, and integrated multi-sector response and pilot shelter projects.