North-West Syria Hub
2022-03 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 2.8 million are Internally Displaced People (IDPs), many of whom are living in over-crowded locations with limited access to essential services. As of March 2022, 1.74 million IDPs were living in 1,414 camps or informal sites. Women and children represent 80 per cent of this caseload while more than 50,000 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. The number of positive COVID-19 cases has been rising steadily and by March 2022 reached 102,566 cases with 2,446 deaths and 97,018 recoveries.
A core priority for SNFI in the first quarter was the continuation of the 2021-2022 Winterization Response, including coordination with members, identifying gaps based on the current. In total, the Cluster estimates that 2.2 million people may need additional winter assistance. However, initial targets with reported secured funds aimed to provide assistance to approximately 1.4 million people. In January, many IDP sites were affected by unprecedented harsh weather conditions and heavy snowfall, resulting in urgent needs for NFI distribution and tent replacement targeting the affected population, in addition to the already high winter needs. Due to these urgent needs, cluster members received a scale up for mostly fuel and cash response as well as shelter materials like kits and especially tarpaulins in order to reach the affected people. By the end of March 2022, the cluster members reached close to a total of 1.8 M people with some kind of winter assistance, for which it is important to highlight that the winter has been harsher than in previous years and the minimum recommendations for an adequate response per household have not been sufficient. Henceforth, several scale ups were required to address the resulting needs especially in January 2022.
Based on the cluster’s analysis of the winterization response reporting (covering from October 2021 – March 2022), 10% of the assistance was implemented through voucher modality, 30% were supported with cash assistance and 60% with in-kind. Around 69% of those reached 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, in addition to continued preparedness and prepositioning for a fast scale up if required. The full analysis and feedback from partners will be reviewed in the upcoming Winter After Action review of the cluster. During the AAR, cluster members present their post distribution monitoring results and share experiences and lessons-learnt in order to discuss if any changes in the approach and or the guidance documentation for the upcoming winter are required. This will take place in Quarter 2.
SNFI Cluster members continue to actively respond to the needs of the newly displaced population as well as protracted IDPs in NWS. In the first quarter of 2022, 316,000 individuals received NFI assistance in the form of NFI kits, kitchen sets, mattresses, jerry cans, carpets, solar lamps, tarpaulin, and blankets. In addition, 693,000 people were reached with seasonal/supplementary NFI distributions. The figure for seasonal assistance in the first quarter is comparably high compared to previous years, as the cluster recommendation has been for several years to implement winterization response before the end of December with the intention of people receiving the assistance in preparation for the coldest months. This year the analysis shows a big spike in the response especially in February 2022 which showcases the scale up for the harsh winter conditions at the end of January 2022.
Shelter needs of approximately 289,000 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, 36% was related to the provision of emergency shelter, 59% to the rehabilitation of infrastructure in IDP sites, 5% to shelter rehabilitation and transitional shelters.
The TWiG on Dignified Shelter focussed early in the year on the drafting and publication of the Action Plan for Dignified Shelter & Living Conditions in NW Syria. This Action plan was devised in response to a statement of the Humanitarian Leadership Group. More information on this can be found in the Action Plan at the top of the Key Documents Section of this factsheet.
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 from the cluster members to strengthen engagement on Gender, disability, AAP, and inclusion and work closely with the cluster coordination team and all cluster partners.
The SNFI Cluster Team used the first quarter and the HRP procedures for setting priorities and targets as well as working on updates for the cluster strategy of 2022. These priorities were prepared especially in consideration in line with the contingency planning and the possibility of a non-extension of the UN Security Council Resolution to be then recommended objectives for the upcoming 1st Standard Allocation. These activities include in a similar manner to the last year: 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 winter assistance for the next winter 2022-23. SNFI focussed on ensuring integration with ERL cluster to enhance the resilience in and out of IDP sites.