• UNICEF, with UN partners and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, concluded a six-day humanitarian aid convoy to Rukban camp in south-east Syria. UNICEF sent 21 trucks of humanitarian assistance and supported 21 vaccinators with vaccines, cold chain equipment and medical supplies to immunize 10,000 children against measles, polio and other childhood diseases. Over 5,000 children were immunized on the spot in the camp. UNICEF supplies for WASH, non-food-items, health and nutrition items were sufficient to cover the needs of approximately 50,375 people. This is the first convoy to the camp from within Syria, where nearly 50,000 people live, the majority of whom are women and children. The last aid delivery to the area was in January from Jordan.
• To improve the quality and inclusiveness of education in Turkish public schools, UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education delivered a nationwide training in November to over 150,000 Turkish teachers and school administrators in all 81 provinces on the Inclusive Education Teacher Training module. The module is designed to strengthen the capacity of teachers, school counsellors and administrators to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable students, including children with disabilities.
• In Jordan, progress towards the completion of the water and wastewater networks in Za’atari refugee camp has reached 96 per cent, with all households fully connected to the wastewater network and 45,442 beneficiaries, including 26,714 children, now receiving safe water at household level. The connection of the wastewater network to all households has significantly decreased operational costs by 75 per cent, with an expected elimination of desludging services by the end of 2018. The operation of the networks has demonstrated positive impacts on water and environment conservation as well as equity in access to water.
• As of 15 December 2018, UNICEF appeals for Syria and the Syrian Refugees is 76% funded, this includes funds carried-forward from the previous year. UNICEF’s response to Syrian refugees in Iraq continues to be most underfunded (55%) followed by Egypt (41%), Turkey (31%). Sustained and unearmarked donor funding remains critical to support to one of the world’s longest and most complex humanitarian crises.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
5.6 million # of children affected
13.1 million # of people affected (HNO, 2018)
Over 2.5 million (2,543,484) # of registered Syria refugee children
Almost 5.7 million (5,652,186) # of registered Syrian refugees (UNHCR, 17 December 2018)
UNICEF Appeal 2018 US$ 1.272 Billion
Funding Status US$ 965.9 Million
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs:
During November, several areas in the north-west (Aleppo, Hama and Idleb Governorates) witnessed an increase in hostilities as numerous airstrikes and shelling involving Government of Syria forces and non-state armed opposition groups were reported with some taking place inside the de-militarized zone established in Idleb1 under the tripartite agreement 2 . This has reportedly led to civilian casualties in both government and non-government held areas. Several areas in Aleppo city were hit by mortars which reportedly resulted in 107 civilians, most of whom were women, children and elderly persons, to suffer from severe asphyxiation and poisoning. 3 Further shelling hit Mare’ and Azaz in rural Aleppo Governorate, parts of southern and south-eastern Idleb Governorate and several locations in north-western Hama Governorate.
Meanwhile, Abu Al Thohour crossing point within Syria was re-opened for the seventh time since March 2018 (from 26 November to 02 December 2018) allowing a total of 4,373 displaced people (1,256 children) to return to their places of origin in Sinjar, Abu Al Thohour (Idleb), Hama and Aleppo Governorates. This brings the total number of people who have crossed from this point to 13,500. To date, no camps or shelters have been established and emergency food items are distributed to people at the crossing points. The water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the affected populations are high but the response remains challenged by the absence of camps or shelters and the continuous movement of people.
Furthermore, high numbers of civilian casualties were reported following airstrikes in south-eastern Deir-ez-Zor Governorate. Sixty civilians were reportedly killed or wounded and hundreds of others were displaced due to air strikes on Al Shafa village and other locations on 12 November, while other airstrikes took place on 4 and 20 November on Hajin city.4 A field hospital in Al Shafa was also reportedly hit by air strikes on 29 November, with women, children and medical personnel among those killed5 . In addition, a prison in Hajin was reportedly hit, while ground fighting continued during the reporting month with an estimated 10,000 civilians being trapped in the ISILcontrolled enclave and facing considerable protection concerns. Living conditions for an estimated 27,000 people who have been displaced in the surrounding villages of Hajin (Gharnaj, Sousa and Shea’afa) since June 2018 also remained dire, with insecurity constraining humanitarian organizations to further scale-up assistance, particularly in areas close to frontlines.
The Kurdish self-administration’s decision in Al-Hassakeh Governorate to ban students’ transportation to Government schools continued to affect access to education across the governorate (there are 388 schools under the Directorate of Education in the Governorate with an estimated 99,031 students). UNICEF’s recent assessment in schools in highly populated and affected areas shows that an average of 17 per cent (16,835) of students are facing difficulties in reaching schools. Due to UNICEF’s scaled-up advocacy with the local authorities, the situation has improved in Al-Hassakeh, where only one checkpoint is still enforcing the decree. Meanwhile, all checkpoints in Qamishli continue to enforce the decree and school attendance is still significantly affected.