X-Border Operation - Turkey Hub
Displacement Updates in North-West Syria
Over 2.6 million IDPs are living in north-west Syria, including 960,000 people who were newly displaced since December as a consequence of the latest escalation in conflict.
According to HNAP, as of June 2020, almost half of the IDP population are now living in adequate housing. However, shelter options remain limited with 45% of IDPs using emergency shelter, predominantly tents; 5% are living in sub-standard buildings, most of which are unfinished buildings; and 1% of IDPs have found public buildings, like schools, to be the only shelter option, thereby disrupting the provision of public services.
Shelter/Non-Food Item (SNFI) Cluster members continue to actively respond to the needs of the newly displaced population as well as protracted IDPs in north-west Syria. Over 1.5 million individuals*, both IDPs and host community members, were assisted with NFI and/or shelter from January to June 2020.
During the first half of the year, 1,335,682 individuals received NFI kits, which contain kitchen sets, mattresses and blankets, as well as winter items. Shelter needs of 676,509 people were addressed with activities including emergency shelter assistance and shelter rehabilitation. Especially towards the beginning of the year, emergency shelter and new arrival kit distribution were main priorities.
The SNFI Cluster is actively coordinating with the Health and WASH Clusters to respond to the needs of the IDP population in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. SNFI aims to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during distributions, to improve the conditions of inadequate shelters and decongest overcrowded collective shelters. In contribution to the Health Cluster response plan, 316 tents were provided to be used as triage stations in the health facilities in north-west Syria, and soap and washing powder continue to be included in the NFI kits. A new recommendation from SNFI is to include cloth-masks in NFI kits to reduce the risk of transmission. SNFI continues to update and widely share its recommendations to mitigate the risks related to the COVID-19 outbreak for shelter and NFI activities in both English and Arabic.
The SNFI Cluster team, together with HNAP, conducted two rounds of assessments on the Collective Shelter Conditions in north-west Syria in April and June 2020. The objective of the assessment is to support partners in designing and prioritizing interventions to improve living standards within collective shelters. In addition to sharing key recommendations, individual profiles on each collective shelter have been prepared to facilitate an effective response and operationalize the findings.
SNFI has supported partners with site planning expertise, in order to enhance shelter solutions in north-west Syria. Experienced site planners have helped Cluster members in the site selection, design, complying to sphere standards and software. In addition to direct coaching and training sessions, in late May and June the Cluster facilitated capacity building sessions, focusing on assessment, design as well as non-technical aspects of site planning in emergency contexts. A Site Planning Support Group has also been set-up to assist Cluster members designing new IDP settlements and settlement expansion.
The SNFI Cluster Team has updated the cluster strategy and, in coordination with OCHA, is preparing readiness and response planning in case any further mass displacement occurs.
(*To note, IDPs may receive multiple services, including both shelter and NFIs; but this figure aims to reflect the unique beneficiaries reached).