North-West Syria Hub
2021-12 Factsheet - X-Border Operation - Turkey Hub
Humanitarian Situation Overview
The overall humanitarian situation remains dire in north-west Syria (NWS), with the population reaching approximately 4.5 million people as of December 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 December 2021, 1.7 million IDPs were living in 1,398 camps or informal sites. Women and children represent 80 per cent of this caseload while more than 46,000 IDPs are reported to be persons with specific needs.
Flood, fire, and high-speed wind incidents exacerbated vulnerabilities in IDP sites in the fourth quarter. These hazards resulted in damage and destruction of shelters and NFIs, requiring an urgent, emergency response which in turn placed additional pressure on contingency stocks.
The expanding impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the lives of people in humanitarian settings in NWS. The number of positive COVID-19 cases has been rising steadily and by December 2021 reached 93,028 cases with 2,353 deaths and 69,635 recoveries.
A core priority for SNFI in the fourth quarter was the 2021-2022 Winterization, including coordination with members, identifying gaps based on the current plans and continued donor discussions on the high need versus available resources. In total, the Cluster estimates that 2.2 million people may need additional winter assistance. However, current targets with secured funds aim to provide assistance to approximately 1.2 million people. Regarding assistance modalities, 18% of the targeted population will receive vouchers, 35% will be supported with in-kind assistance and 47% with cash assistance. Around 69% of those targeted are living in camps/settlements, and 31% are living in towns/communities. Taking into account the large numbers of displaced people and those living in inadequate shelters, as well as the harsh conditions that most people face in NWS during winter, timely support for winterization is essential.
SNFI Cluster members continue to actively respond to the needs of the newly displaced population as well as protracted IDPs in NWS. In the fourth quarter of 2021, 377,000 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, 523,000 people were reached with seasonal/supplementary NFI distributions. 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 provided 540,000 people with additional soap with their NFI distributions in 2021.
Shelter needs of approximately 404,000 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, 19% was related to the provision of emergency shelter, 73% to the rehabilitation of infrastructure in IDP sites, 8% to shelter rehabilitation and transitional shelters.
The Cluster’s three technical working groups continued their specialised collaboration in the fourth quarter. The TWiG on Dignified Shelter focussed on drafting the basic guidance on a multi-sectoral approach in IDP sites with integrated services. While the TWiG on Communication and Advocacy explored issues related to climate change and shelter activities in IDP sites. The TWiG on Gender and Protection in Shelters highlighted GBV-related risks and shelter solutions as part of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign.
The Cluster focused on strengthening gender equality both in programming, and in the Cluster itself. In this regard, the Cluster elected a Gender Focal Point to points to strengthen engagement on Gender, disability, AAP, and inclusion. SNFI participated in the Global Shelter Cluster’s 16 Days of Activism webinar that aimed to promote the importance of GBV Risk Mitigation in Shelter Coordination and Response. SNFI prepared a factsheet on gender-based violence, protection, and shelter in NWS. This factsheet advocates for simple shelter solutions such as improved lighting, lockable and secure shelter, as well as safe access to WASH facilities to create safer and more secure environments.
SNFI collaborated with OCHA/SCHF teams to set the priorities for the 2nd Standard Allocation considering the following priority activities: Better dignified shelters with associated infrastructure; Replacement of old torn tents with better dignified shelters in planned camps; Piloting of innovative approaches to shelter; and Cash for winter support. SNFI focussed on ensuring integration with ERL cluster to enhance the resilience in and out of IDP sites.
As part of ongoing efforts to enhance capacity-building, SNFI and CARE International conducted online workshops in November and December 2021, focussed on Shelter and Cash. This workshop engaged SNFI cluster members to learn more about using cash voucher approaches in shelter projects, connect to key Cash/Shelter practitioners and learn about the best practices for Cash and Shelter currently practiced in the field.