Overview of humanitarian needs in 2020: Syrian Arab Republic (April 2020) – Syrian Arab Republic


The humanitarian consequences for those suffering from the crisis in Syria are vast and profound. Overall, 11.06 million people are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance in 2020. This includes 4.65 million people estimated to be in acute need.1 As the crisis entering its tenth year, 6.1 million people are still internally displaced.2 5.6 million people have fled their homes, the vast majority to neighboring countries, with limited prospects for return in due to ongoing hostilities in some places, security concerns and the lack of adequate housing, basic services and employment opportunities.3 In 2019, more than 1.8 million population movements Critical civilian infrastructure such as schools, water supply systems, health facilities and housing infrastructure have suffered extensive damage and much of it remains unrestored or in poor condition. In areas where hostilities have subsided, life remains a daily struggle due to limited access to basic services and livelihood opportunities, increasing financial hardship and reduced ability to cope. It is estimated that around 90% of the population lives below the poverty line5. Recent economic shocks risk further delaying the recovery of the Syrian people and making them much more vulnerable. Millions of women, children and men continue to depend on humanitarian assistance as a lifeline and to meet their basic needs.
Humanitarian consequences related to physical and mental well-being People in Syria continue to suffer from increasingly localized and intensified hostilities which uproot families from their homes, claim the lives of civilians, damage and destroy basic infrastructure and limit freedom of movement. Almost 40% of internally displaced families have been displaced more than three times, with each displacement further eroding their coping capacity. The number of repeated displacements is particularly high for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northwest and northeast Syria, where the majority of the 1.8 million displacement movements have been recorded in 2019.6 More than 400,000 people were displaced in the northwest between May and August. 2019, several of these multiple times. Some of those displaced were uprooted again a few months later, among more than 950,000 people who fled the escalation of hostilities in southern Idleb and moved mainly north of the Turkish-Syrian border to during the period 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020.7 In the northeast, more than 250,000 people were forced to flee their homes during a two-week period in October 2019, and more than 75,000 people remained displaced after this period two weeks.
An additional 15,750 Syrians sought refuge and international protection in Iraq.8

Many of these displaced people have sought refuge and added to an already high number of IDPs living in sites of last resort, that is, mainly informal settlements and collective centers in which shelters and WASH facilities. are substandard, and the risks to health and protection are high. In total, the number of IDPs in last resort sites and camps increased by 42% in 2019 compared to 2018, and in February 2020 it stood at over 1.4 million.9

Based on the available data, as many as 11.5 million people live in areas contaminated by explosion hazards, putting them at significant risk.10 57% of those who survived contact with hazards explosion in 2019 suffered lifelong disabilities.11 3.07 million are estimated to be living with a disability.12 The crisis continues to impact the mental well-being of those affected by new and protracted displacement, exposure to violence, loss of income and reduced access to basic services, particularly affecting the youngest: 42% of household respondents report signs of psychosocial distress in children – nightmares, lasting sadness and anxiety, between others – in the past 30 days, suggesting that many boys and girls are in prolonged distress.13 Half a million children are chronically malnourished and 137,000 children under five years of age are acutely malnourished, increasing their exposure to preventable morbidity and mortality. 14 Maternal malnutrition rates have increased fivefold from 2019, particularly in northwestern Syria, where acute malnutrition was prevalent in 21% of displaced pregnant and lactating women at the time of publication. anemia is also on the rise. One in three pregnant and breastfeeding women is anemic, leading to poor intrauterine growth, high-risk pregnancies and complications during childbirth. One in four children aged 6 to 59 months is anemic and the youngest are the most affected with 42% of children aged 6 to 23 months suffering from anemia.16 In 2020, the number of food insecure people has increased by 22%, from 6.5 million in 2019 to 7.9 million people in 2020.17 Humanitarian consequences linked to protection Multiple serious and often interconnected protection risks persist. These include actions resulting in civilian casualties (dead and wounded) which indicate violations of international humanitarian law (IHL), in particular a disregard for the principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution. Attacks on civilian infrastructure such as health, water supply, and educational institutions and personnel continue unabated and reduce the population’s access to essential services. In 2019, 85 attacks on health facilities18 and staff and 157 attacks on schools19 were recorded.
An estimated 2.45 million children between the ages of five and seventeen are out of school20 and face high protection risks linked, among other things, to child marriage and engagement in child labor. including in its worst forms such as recruitment and use by parties to conflict. three schoolchildren are displaced, with the physical and mental impact of displacement affecting individual growth and learning. In 2019, 23% of victims of accidents involving the risk of explosion were children, 42% of whom were injured or killed while playing.22 Missing or absent civil documents often represent an obstacle to the exercise of housing rights , land and property and freedom of movement. and is referenced by affected populations as the main concern for accessing assistance and services.
Insecurity of housing / housing due to the loss or lack of civil documents generates additional physical and mental consequences for communities, often leaving them with no choice but to reside in unsanitary and unsanitary buildings liable to collapse or in other sites of last resort. Fueled also by growing economic difficulties and a dramatic loss of purchasing power due to the devaluation of the Syrian pound, the affected population has little choice but to resort more and more to harmful coping mechanisms. , many of which disproportionately affect women and girls, including child / forced marriage. and various forms of gender-based violence.
Meanwhile, 95% of the 438,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria continue to be disproportionately affected by the above factors and will continue to experience extreme vulnerability in 2020.

Humanitarian Consequences Related to Living Standards Years of crisis have worsened the living conditions of most Syrians due to significant reductions in the availability and access to essential services, destruction of housing infrastructure, loss of livelihoods and reduced purchasing power due to economic decline. Among other things, only 53% of hospitals and 51% of primary health care (PHC) centers across Syria are estimated to be fully functional.23 More than eight million people rely on alternative and often unsanitary sources of water to feed or supplement their water. needs, increasing the risk to public health, with indicators on water availability and quality being the worst for displaced people in northwest and northeast Syria.24 The number of people in need housing assistance increased by 20%, from 4.7 million in 2019 to more than 5.5 million in 2020. This increase is due to the loss of capital, the destruction of housing infrastructure and the deterioration of housing conditions in 238 of the 272 sub-districts, and aggravated by the scale of new displacements in 2019, protracted displacements, return movements and a very limited shelter response.25 More than half of all IDPs have now been displaced for more than five years, 26 many in need of basic service delivery and livelihood support. The deterioration of the economic situation, caused mainly by the protracted crisis and the loss of economic assets induced by hostility, underinvestment, pressure resulting from unilateral coercive measures and exacerbated by the budget crisis in neighboring Lebanon, contributed continued loss of livelihoods and reduced household purchasing power.27 The ongoing devaluation of the Syrian pound (SYP), which since October 2019 has lost more than half of its market value informal and hit a low of SYP 1,250 per US dollar (US $) in January 2020, further reduced the purchasing power of families. These combined factors have contributed, among others, to the increase in the number of food insecure people and are likely to lead to further increases in poverty, inflation and the prices of basic and non-basic food products. food in 202028.

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