In regions Syria and MENA and in groups Syria and Whole of Syria

North-West Syria Hub


2024-03 Factsheet - North-West Syria Hub

< Dec 2023
March 2024
Mercy USA - Organization


Overview of the Humanitarian Situation:

Following over 13 years of conflict, the humanitarian situation in north-west Syria continues to worsen due to ongoing conflict, a deteriorating economic crisis, and the aftermath of devastating earthquakes in February 2023. With 3.4 million displaced individuals and 4.2 million in need of humanitarian aid, north-west Syria urgently requires attention and resources.

According to the 2024 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), it's estimated that around 2.1 million people in north-west Syria will need shelter support and 1.1 million will require Non-Food Item (NFI) support.

  • In the north-west, approximately 2 million people live in 1,545 camps, with around 1,298 being unplanned, self-settled IDP sites.
  • Inadequate Living Conditions: With 2.1 million people requiring shelter assistance and over 800,000 people living in tents and makeshift shelters (90% of which are over a year old), the harsh winter months pose a significant humanitarian challenge in north-west Syria. The majority of people live in old tents in IDP sites that lack proper sewage, drainage, electricity, and water supply. Among the camp population, 80% are women and children who have been displaced multiple times over several years and face safety, security, and protection risks due to their temporary and undignified living conditions. They are also at risk of gender-based violence. The overall effect of poor living conditions on children, the impact of climate change, and natural disasters make traditional shelter approaches less effective.
  • Earthquake: The earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey in February 2023 has worsened the living conditions for an already vulnerable population residing in overcrowded and substandard shelters.
  • Winter Severity: The long, extremely cold, and unpredictable winters in north-west Syria result in acute suffering for over 2 million people who lack adequate shelter. During winter, respiratory infection outbreaks increase, leading to higher hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality rates. The lack of warm clothing, insulation, and heating further increases the risk of respiratory infections, hypothermia, and preventable deaths among children and the elderly.


In 2024, the Shelter/NFI Cluster is committed to strengthening its response in the following areas:

  1. Addressing the emerging need for safe and dignified shelters and improving living conditions, following over 13 years of conflict and the devastating earthquake in February 2023.
  2. Improving infrastructure to mitigate climate-related disasters, particularly floods, which occur annually.
  3. Implementing larger-scale Winterization efforts to reach a greater number of people in need with essential services.


One of the Shelter/NFI Cluster's top priorities during the first quarter was to continue providing the winterization response. The harsh winters in northwest Syria cause acute suffering for the 2.1 million people in need of winter assistance. In recent years, there has been an increase in extreme weather conditions, such as sub-zero temperatures, heavy snowfall, and widespread flooding. Some members reported a reduction in the winterization fund this season.

As of March 2024, 20,376 households (101,882 individuals) have received essential NFIs, and 52,266 households (761,329 individuals) have received Seasonal NFIs, including heating fuel support. Cluster members secured around US$ 28 million out of the US$ 213 million needed to support people in need with the minimum level of survival support. This winter season, approximately 74% of the planned winter response was implemented through cash and voucher modalities, a significant increase compared to previous winters. About 70% of the targeted individuals live in IDP sites.

Dignified Shelter and Living Conditions

The approach to Dignified Shelter and Living Conditions involves long-term investments in better camp infrastructure, enhanced stakeholder engagement, and less reliance on emergency services. This strategy aims to reduce the need for costly, short-term tent replacements, which usually last between 6 to 12 months. It's designed to increase the resilience of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites to sudden disasters and to lower the risk of gender-based violence, exploitation, and abuse.

Since March 2022, 31 cluster members have been able to provide dignified shelter to over 32,400 families in 156 (registered and unregistered) IDP sites. Another 7,314 families living in old tents across 35 IDP sites are currently targeted by ongoing projects of 19 cluster members. The Shelter/NFI Cluster has released an updated Action Plan for Dignified Shelter & Living Conditions. This updated plan reflects the progress made in providing dignified shelters, incorporates the site prioritization criteria for shelter provision, and includes the dignified shelter impact survey outcomes. The action plan aims to support 81,520 families for the first four phases living in tents in sites with valid housing, land, and property (HLP) documentation, while advocating for HLP solutions for the remaining 100,000 families living in tents in sites without valid/pending HLP or missing information.

In March 2024, the Shelter/NFI Cluster published the Dignified Shelter Advocacy note. This note details the progress made two years after the Dignified Shelter Action Plan's launch in March 2022. It encourages donors and stakeholders to continue their support due to its considerable multi-sectoral impact. The note includes an overview of a perception survey conducted from February to March 2024, assessing the impact of the dignified shelters on beneficiaries. This survey reached 380 households, reflecting a 95% confidence level and a 5% margin of error from the target population of 31,799 households.

Key findings include:

  • Protection from Harsh Weather Conditions: Most IDPs (99%) in dignified shelters report feeling well-protected from severe weather conditions.
  • Impact on Livelihoods: Living in dignified shelters has positively affected families' abilities to earn a living, with 67% of respondents reporting significant improvements in their livelihood situation.
  • Feelings of Safety and Security: Most (58%) feel very safe and secure, 34% feel safe and secure, while a small group feel moderately (6%) or slightly (1%) safe and secure.

On March 5, 2024, the SNFI Cluster conducted the annual Cluster Coordination Performance Monitoring (CCPM) with UNHCR's support. This self-assessment exercise monitors the cluster's performance against the six core cluster functions. The workshop was attended by 41 participants from national and international NGOs, donors, and UN agencies who contributed to the 2024 Action Plan's review and development. The SNFI Cluster scored "Strong" in all seven areas, based on the feedback of 51 respondents.

Response Overview

SNFI Cluster members are actively responding to the needs of the newly displaced population, as well as protracted IDPs in north-west Syria. In the first quarter of 2024, a total of 196,509 individuals received core non-food item (NFI) assistance. This assistance included NFI kits, kitchen sets, mattresses, jerry cans, carpets, solar lamps, tarpaulin, and blankets. Additionally, 2,222 people benefitted from seasonal/supplementary NFI distributions.

During the same period, shelter assistance was provided to approximately 109,276 people. Some IDP sites and individuals received multiple SNFI activities. Of the shelter support provided, 44% was allocated to infrastructure improvement in IDP sites, 17% to emergency shelter provision, 6% to transitional shelter installation, 34% to shelter rehabilitation