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The most vulnerable affected Syrians Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the camps: PAH after two years in the camps

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Seven years of brutal conflict, bombing, massive destruction, and far too many lives lost. With no effective ceasefire in place, and no end to the war in sight, men, women and children are trapped, injured, cold and hungry. This is one of the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. Seven years that have caused more than five million Syrians to flee across Syria’s borders and another six million to be displaced inside Syria. Conflict continues to be the principal driver of humanitarian needs, with the civilian population in many parts of the country exposed to significant protection risks which threaten their life, dignity and wellbeing on a daily basis.

Displacement is the first criteria of vulnerability. Displacement patterns across Syria remain extremely fluid. Many people have been displaced multiple times, moving from one location to another as frontlines shift and hostilities draw closer. Populations on the move continue to be exposed to a number of protection risks including exposure to explosive hazards. In addition, there have been reports that a number of IDP camps have been hit by airstrikes. 750,000 IDPs are living in last resort sites; informal settlements, reception and transit centers, planned camps, and collective centers (schools, residential buildings, warehouses, and municipal buildings) . During the first quarter of 2018 more than 200,000 individuals were displaced from east Idleb and east Hama, and more than 100,000 individuals were displaced from east Ghouta.

PAH exists and operates in the same area as the aforementioned last resort sites and has been providing life-saving WASH assistance through its missions in Turkey and Syria since 2013. Since January 2016 until April 2018, PAH has been providing integrated life-saving WASH assistance to IDPs in 55 informal settlements. PAH’s interventions in the camps are funded by multiple donors such as Turkey Humanitarian Fund, as well as by the solidarity of the Polish society.

PAH provided approximately 50,000 individuals living in camps and informal settlements with adequate amount of water for drinking and personal hygiene for 28 months. In order to decrease the waiting time of collecting water and to mitigate the risks of sexual harassment while collecting water, PAH distributed 1,500 water tanks within the camps as water distribution points. In addition to maintain water quality control during the water trucking process, all provided water tankers were chlorinated at the water source points according to world health organization (WHO) standards, and water samples were collected and tested (bacteriologically, physically, and chemically) daily from the water source, water trucks, water tanks, and household level.

Additionally, PAH removed the solid waste management from 55 camps on a daily basis and disposed it to communal landfill which was twice rehabilitated by PAH to increase its capacity and improve the environment living conditions in the camps and its surrounding area. In addition to distributing 100 litters garbage containers to every ten households in the camps, PAH also constructed 600 cement toilets to decrease the number of users per toilets from 80 persons per toilets to 30, and hired women and men from the camps residents to clean the constructed toilets daily. PAH maintains the cleanliness of the latrines and secure the livelihood of 77 women and men by the cash for work response. PAH also requested the disposal of the black water from the septic tanks in the camps to the existing functional sewage lines in the near community. Finally, PAH distributed approximately 20,000 family hygiene kits to IDPs in camps and informal settlements, including basic hygiene items addressing the needs of women, men, boys, girls and children less than two years old.

In order to raise the awareness of the IDPs about the best hygiene practices, PAH trained community hygiene promoters from the affected population in the camps, and mobilized them to conduct hygiene training to the IDPs in the camps. Disaggregated hygiene sessions, according to age and gender, were conducted in all camps to train the IDPs on; personal hygiene practices, female hygiene during menstruation, the food cleanliness, sustaining the cleanliness of the camps, water treatment at household level, and hand washing at critical times.

A continuous coordination with local councils, camps management and WASH cluster were maintained by PAH to guarantee Do No Harm while providing the aid. In order to insure effective participation of the affected IDPs during the project phases, PAH considered the vulnerable groups opinion during assessment and project design, and during implementation through simple, effective, complaints response mechanism (CRM) manual (through complaints boxes) and online (Facebook, what’s app, Viber, email, and direct line) in place to receive and respond to all complaints.

After all WASH interventions, PAH’s MEAL department evaluates the impact of the intervention, insuring that all IDPs segments - women, men, adolescent (girls and boys) - are represented during the post intervention monitoring (PDM). The opinion of the IDPs segments are taken into consideration for future projects.