In the eighth year of the crisis in Syria, thus far three major emergency situations occurred in Eastern Ghouta, Afrin and South West / Dar’a leading to continued internal displacement and loss of lives.
1,251,192 displacements from affected areas in northern and southern Syria were recorded by the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster in the last 12 months.
In 2018, UNHCR continues to provide humanitarian assistance and protection services to the most vulnerable IDPs, host communities, returnees and other crisis- affected populations in all areas where humanitarian access existed and/or emerged throughout Syria.
UNHCR’s response to the Eastern Ghouta emergency
In March 2018, over 92,000 civilians left or were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, including some 77,000 that were accommodated in overcrowded conditions in eight collective shelters in Rural Damascus. UNHCR’s response to the needs of these displaced persons included, among others, legal counselling to nearly 31,268 individuals; 5,866 legal administrative interventions, 3,747 individuals attended 51 awareness- raising sessions; distribution of more than 306,730 core relief items, in addition, UNHCR provided shelter support that included the installation of three rub halls and 50 family-size tents in two IDP sites, in addition to the provision of 2,200 shelter kits, of which some 2,128 were installed in the various IDP sites. The rehabilitation of three schools (180 rooms) in one IDP site was completed, in addition to the installation of four sheds (big size tents) in another site. Nearly 15,000 people have benefited from UNHCR’s shelter response to Eastern Ghouta emergency.
UNHCR’s response to the Afrin emergency
An estimated 151,0003 people were uprooted from their homes in Afrin region by fighting since the start of the Turkish “Olive Branch” military operation in January 2018. The majority were displaced to Tal Refaat, Nubul, Zahra and Fafin areas of Aleppo governorate.
UNHCR’s response to the needs of the displaced persons included, among others, the distribution of more than 245,169 core relief items as of end of September 2018, including high thermal blankets, warm clothes, kitchen sets, sleeping mats, mattresses, solar lamps, sleeping bags, hygiene kits, jerry cans, seasonal supplementary items such as fans, and mosquito nets for 155, 295 individuals consisting of 31,059 families in Nubul, Zahraa, Tal Refaat, Fafin areas including the four camps and the scattered farms and Aleppo city.
The response also included support to selected persons from the host community identified in need of assistance after house to house assessment by UNHCR’s partners. UNHCR’s partner Syiran Arab Red Crescent (SARC) completed the installation of 1,058 shelter kits for 12,413 IDPs from Afrin who are currently sheltered in empty houses in different villages. As of end September 2018, more than 33,210 IDPs from Afrin have benefitted from protection services provided through five partner organizations namely Syria Society of Social Development (SSSD), Al Ihsan, Namaa, SARC, Human Support Project (HSP), and Syria Trust. The locations covered include Ibin, Kashtaat, Tal Refaat, Dayr Jamal, Al Aser camp and hangars of Nubol and Zahraa villages as well as the new locations of Maarata, Moslemya, Tal Souseen, Hassin, Al Harra, Ahras, Tal Kraa, Tal Shaer, Halissa in Septmeber 2018. A secondary displacement movement trend has been detected from Nubul and Ziyara to Fafin camps and when possible to Aleppo city especially Shiekh Maqsoud.
UNHCR’s response to the South emergency
Since the beginning of the military operation in the south of Syria in June 2018, it is estimated that some 300,000 people have been displaced. Up to 20,000 families fled to areas controlled by the Government of Syria (GoS), some of whom have stayed in the pre-prepared Jbab IDP site, while the majority was hosted by relatives in GoS-controlled areas in Dar’a. Other families were displaced towards areas in Rural Damascus such as Kisweh, Khiarah Dannoun, Khan Dannoun, Adlieh, and Herjelleh. UNHCR responded through the delivery of core relief items to its implementing partners SARC and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate & All the Eas (GOPA) in Izraa, Bsir and Khan Arnaba, Quneitra and the provision of protection services including legal activities through the legal team of the Syria Trust. UNHCR responded rapidly through partners by providing NFIs to around 1,385 families from existing stocks. At the same time, UNHCR prepositioned 1000 NFI kits to SARC in Izra, 3000 kits tot (GOPA) in Bsir and 500 kits to SARC in Khan Arnaba, Quneitra. Another 3000 Mattresses, 3000 high thermal blankets, 1000 kitchen sets were dispatched to SARC warehouses in AsSweida and Shahba. In total, some 4,800 persons received protection services in Dara’a and As-Sweida, including 2,250 individual protection interventions by UNHCR partners. Staring from late August, wide return movement was observed in Dara’a governorate in addition to Quneitra, according to Dara’a Governor’s Office, it’s estimated that around 60,000 IDP families returned back to their areas of origin in different areas in the governorate while the number of IDP returnees in Qunietra remains unconfirmed.