• Over one third of Rukban camp’s population of about 42,000 displaced Syrians near the Jordanian border have left toward Homs governorate where they receive critical medical and humanitarian support from UNICEF and partners before departing to final destinations of choice. The humanitarian situation of the remaining 29,000 people in Rukban, mostly women and children, remains a concern given the very limited access to critical services and supplies.
• In Syria, UNICEF continued water trucking interventions to over 46,700 returnees in 13 communities in East Ghouta, this was in addition to over 100,000 IDPs in Tall Refaat, Nabul, and Zahra camps and collective shelters in Aleppo which hold IDPs from Afrin, and another 54,000 IDPs in Orm, Atareb, Daret Azza that holds IDPs from Idleb.
• In Al Hol camp, UNICEF and partners delivered 12,000 free medical consultations to children and women during the reporting month. A rapid mid-upper arm circumference screening finalized on 8 May also reached 17,000 children U5 in the camp, with 200 cases of SAM and 245 cases of MAM admitted for treatment.
• The Government of Jordan, with technical assistance from UNICEF, has launched its first National Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Strategy for 2019-2025 with the aim to support country’s underprivileged population. The strategy is a fundamental pillar for increasing national capabilities, empowering citizens and improving their living standards. A complementary national welfare support programme ‘Takaful’ was also launched to expand cash assistance and provide services to the most vulnerable families in the country (not including refugees).
• Through a collaboration with UNHCR, work on the solar-powered water pumping systems in Qushtapa camp in Erbil, Iraq has completed providing over an estimated 8,000 Syrian refugees with sustainable access to water. The cost-effective and environmentally-friendly project provides a solution to water shortages caused by disruption of the electricity supply amid high demand, particularly when summer temperatures rise.
• In Turkey, as part of the Non-Formal Education Programme, as of May 2019, UNICEF and partners reached 7,145 children through Turkish Language Courses – an increase of 443 children over the previous month.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
5 million # of children affected
11.7 million # of people affected (HNO summary, 2019)
Over 2.4 million (2,448,124) # of registered Syria refugee children
Over 5.4 million (5,440,276) # of registered Syrian refugees (UNHCR, 16 June 2019)
UNICEF Appeal 2018 US$ 1.2 Billion
Funding Status US$ 624.9 Million
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs: In north-east Syria, humanitarian agencies, including UNICEF, continued to respond to the dire needs of Al Hol camp population, including Iraqi refugees and Syrian internally displaced people (IDPs). As of 29 May 2019, the camp population remained approximately 73,782 people, with the majority being women and children (91 per cent). 1 Following tensions between camp residents (Iraqis and Syrians), camp management and humanitarian partners agreed to create separate residential areas complemented by provision of services. Discussions are also ongoing regarding the possible transfer of an estimated 15,000 Iraqis displaced by violence to informal settlements in Deir-ez-Zor prior to the Hajin crisis, to Al Hol camp. So far, Camp Administration has indicated that the relocation is only likely to take place if there is an acceleration in Syrian returns and Iraqi departures from Al Hol. As of end of May, only 28 families (107 individuals) had left Al Hol camp to return to places of origin, in Shafa, Sousa and Baghouz towns in rural Deir-ez-Zor. Camp Administration have recently informed that following an agreement with tribal leaders, return of Syrian IDPs to places of origin in Tabqa and Ar-Raqqa will begin in first week of June. Departures will take place in batches of 500 individuals per week, starting with IDPs in possession of documentation. Those lacking documentation will require sponsorship to depart Al Hol. While an agreed process of departure has now been confirmed for Syrian IDPs from north-east Syria, the process for the 10,000 Syrian IDPs in Al Hol camp from other areas has yet to be clarified due to difficulties in arranging sponsorship. Protection concerns remain a significant challenge in the camp with 480 unaccompanied/separated children identified of whom 88 are in UNICEF interim care units waiting for family tracing and reunification. As of 29 May, more than 182 children have been reunified with their primary caregivers (relatives). There are also numerous pregnant girls and women (many under the age of 18), as well as unaccompanied elderly people and persons with disabilities, which require special care; UNICEF is responding though the provision of free medical consultations and screening to identify malnutrition cases, in addition to the WASH, protection and Education response already ongoing.
In the north-west, military escalation continued within the demilitarized zone of Idlib, northern and western Hama, and Aleppo. The intensity of the hostilities resulted in the displacement of 269,627 people2 toward neighbouring areas. The hostilities have reportedly resulted in the killing of 255 civilians, 55 children and partial or complete infrastructural damages to 27 health facilities, 15 immunization centres and 31 schools. UNICEF programmes and partners continued the provision of services in Idlib, northern Hama and Aleppo governorates to host communities, IDPs, and new waves of displacements. Prepositioned emergency supplies and emergency services were also delivered to newly displaced people in northern Aleppo and Idlib.
In the south, as of 23 May, 13,153 people in 16 groups had left Rukban toward five shelters in Homs governorate; representing over a third of the settlement’s population of nearly 42,000. However, the number of people leaving Rukban decreased in the last two weeks of May due to lack of vehicles and cost of transport to the Al Waha reception area. Once in Homs, the majority spend approximately 24 hours at the shelters where children are vaccinated, and families receive humanitarian and medical assistance before leaving to a final destination of choice. UNICEF and other UN agencies continue providing assistance through the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in the five shelters as well as in nine locations in Homs governorate where people from Rukban are settling. However, the remaining population of 29,000 people in Rukban are suffering from harsh living conditions that are deteriorating by the day as temperatures rise and food and medication become more and more scarce.