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Syria: Flash update on recent events - 9 August 2018

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Syria
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UNHCR
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SYRIA: FLASH UPDATE ON RECENT EVENTS

9 August 2018 This update provides a summary of recent displacement, along with developments from the UNHCR co-led Sector/Clusters of Protection, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and Shelter/Non Food Items (SNFI).

KEY DISPLACEMENT STATISTICS [1]

  • 1,251,192 displacements recorded by the CCCM Cluster in the last 12 months from affected areas of northern and southern Syria (as of 31 July 2018):
    o 1,171,278 displacements from affected areas of northern Syria, including Idleb (425,077), Deir-Ez-Zor (237,485), Hama (230,465), Aleppo (139,381), Ar-Raqqa (71,511), Homs (22,298), Al-Hassakeh (2,418), Lattakia (40) governorates, northern Syria. This also includes some 42,600 displacements under verification. Around 14,300 displacements were recorded so far in July 2018, the majority from Idleb and Aleppo governorates.
    o 79,914 displacements from affected areas of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Sweida, Dara’a and Quneitra, south-western Syria, to northern Syria.
  • Up to 184,000 individuals remain displaced in south-west Syria (as of 1 August 2018).

CONTEXTUAL DEVELOPMENTS

  • Following large-scale territorial gains, the Government of Syria now reportedly controls nearly all areas of south-west Syria. There are reports of small-scale return movements of IDPs to their areas of origin in Quneitra and western Dara’a governorates.
  • Over 10,000 individuals, including women and children, were evacuated from south-west Syria to Idleb and other areas in north-west Syria where the security situation remains volatile.
  • Fighting was reported this week in the eastern Sweida governorate desert, where Syrian government forces are reportedly advancing against extremist groups.
  • If fighting were to escalate in north-west Syria, current UN planning scenarios estimate that the number of people that could be displaced ranges from 200,000 to some 700,000 people.

UNHCR CO-LED SECTOR/CLUSTER UPDATES

Protection

South-west Syria response:

  • Syria Hub: The protection situation of IDPs and returnees remains of concern, and the needs remain significant in light of the evolving situation on the ground. Protection actors continue to operate from a series of facilities, including eight community centres, one satellite centre, four child-friendly spaces, and three Women and Girls safe spaces. One community centre in Dara’a resumed its activities after an interruption due to the security situation. From these facilities, mobile teams providing protection, gender-based violence (GBV), reproductive health, and child protection services, depart to serve rural areas and the Jbab site.

[1] Some displacement statistics mentioned in other sections of this report may not be reflected in the “Key Displacement Statistics” as they are in the process of being triangulated by established population tracking mechanisms.

Other key activities:

  • Syria Hub: As part of an inter-sector initiative focused on accountability to the affected population, the Protection Sector in Syria concluded a series of consultations with 40 out of 51 partners on communication with communities, methodologies of feedback on programs and activities, sensitization of staffing on humanitarian standards, and ethical behavior. Reflecting the composition of the sector, most of the responding partners (65%) were national NGOs. The general findings highlighted the unanimous practice of information sharing with communities, for which the use of social media or consultation through focus group discussion (FGDs) were the prominent means. It showed that a high percentage of partners (80% in average) are consulting beneficiaries on needs as well as on modalities of interventions, primarily through FGDs or interviews with community sources. The consultations are generally gender disaggregated. The majority of partners also evaluate the impact of their activities, largely through monitoring reports or specific tools or evaluation forms. Sensitization of staff on ethical standards was regularly reported, with training or through signing Codes of Conduct.

Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM)
Response and availabilities in north-west Syria:

  • Turkey Hub: The CCCM Cluster provided inputs for the OCHA-coordinated preparedness plan in north-west Syria, ahead of potential new military offensives in the area. The plan provided by CCCM foresees the activation of quick displacement tracking mechanisms and the provision of multi-sectorial, life-saving assistance in existing IDP sites. It is estimated that current structures, including the four CCCM agency-managed reception centres in Idleb and Aleppo governorates, can receive almost 7,000 IDPs on an immediate basis. Planned camps and other sites, which are to be completed in the coming months, will allow to host an estimated 17,000 individuals.
  • Turkey Hub: A total of 900 IDPs are currently being hosted in the A’zaz reception centre, 1,140 in the Mezanaz reception centre, and 1,184 in the Maaret Elekhwan reception centre. The Al Bab reception centre continues to have no IDPs. The capacity of these four reception centres is expected to increase up to 9,100 individuals with the establishment of additional rub halls in the centres. Available spaces in sites and other locations are extremely limited. The Cluster, in collaboration with member agencies and the Shelter and NFI Cluster, continues to respond to new arrivals. Based on a collaboration between CCCM and SNFI Clusters, the availability of shelter space (in and out of camps) in north-west Syria was mapped out. Planned and current available spaces for new IDPs are estimated at around 25,000. An online shelter availability dashboard can be found here.

Shelter/Non-Food Items (SNFI)
South-west Syria response:

  • Syria Hub: Some 20,000 individuals have been reached with shelter and NFI assistance from inside Syria.
  • Jordan Hub: Shelter and NFI activities through the Jordan Hub have now been suspended due to the current situation. Jordan-based partners reached a total of 93,000 individuals with shelter and NFI interventions since the onset of the emergency in south-west Syria.

North-west Syria response:

  • Turkey Hub: The second Humanitarian Fund Standard Allocation focused on winterization activities and has allocated USD 3 million to the SNFI Cluster. USD 1.5 million was allocated for emergency winter stock, while USD 1.5 million is allocated for fuel winterization activities. The SNFI Cluster is also providing inputs for the OCHA-coordinated preparedness plan in north-west Syria.