This Emergency Appeal seeks a total of 3.5 million Swiss francs to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) to deliver assistance and support to some 45,000 people for up to 6 months, with a focus on health (including psychosocial support), food, household relief items and water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH). The planned response reflects the current situation and information available at this time of the evolving operation and will be adjusted based on further developments and more detailed assessments. Additional information will be made available in the Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) in the coming days.
The disaster and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date
31 March 2019: Exceptional heavy rains and flooding in Al Hasakeh Governorate
1 April 2019: Rapid assessment, evacuations and basic relief provided by the SARC Al Hasakeh Branch
April 2019: Ongoing relief distributions and assessments
12 April 2019: 500,000 Swiss francs allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) as an emergency operation start up
15 April 2019: The IFRC launches an Emergency Appeal for CHF 3.5 million
The operational strategy
Summary of Red Cross Red Crescent response to date
Since 31 March, heavy rainfall has caused exceptional floods in Al Hasakeh Governorate. In response, staff and volunteers of the Al Hasakeh SARC branch conducted rapid assessments and immediately began relief distributions from regional stocks for the affected population. Most areas can only be accessed by tractor due to the floods. There are more heavy rains forecast for Al Hasakeh in April, which could further impact the already serious humanitarian situation.
While some of the affected districts have seen flooding in the past, these current floods far exceed anything experienced in over a decade and come at a time when heavy and intense rains are very unusual, creating floods far higher than previously experienced. The timing of the floods comes in advance of crop harvests and lambing season, negatively impacting both food security and livelihoods. Communities and camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the region are severely affected, putting further stress on the people that have recently relocated from the conflict in the north of Syria, with very limited coping abilities for this new disaster. Much of the attention from the humanitarian community has been focused on the needs in the Al Hol IDP camp, hosting over 70,000 newly displaced from recent conflicts in the north and now impacted by floods.
SARC is the only operational humanitarian organisation in the remaining affected areas, and reaching communities and other IDP camps.
This emergency appeal aims to address that imbalance in humanitarian response to ensure that 45,000 people affected by floods outside the Al Hol IDP camp receive support from SARC. While SARC has very considerable capacity to respond to new emergencies related to the ongoing conflict in Syria, this exceptional natural disaster in Al Hasakeh exceeds SARC’s current capacity to respond without receiving international financial support.