As of 7 August, the number of people who left Rukban was 17,964 – since 24 March, people have left in 26 batches and transited through the shelters in Homs. Reports suggest that the number of those remaining in Rukban may be lower than previously estimated. On 8 August, 721 people remained at the five shelters in Homs – 382 men, 128 women, 162 children and 49 infants – some do not have anywhere to go and have requested to stay, while others are having their cases reviewed and settled with the authorities.
The UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) continue providing blankets, food, dignity and hygiene kits, nutrition and basic supplies to those staying at the shelters, as well as assisting people at their second destinations, be it the area of origin or other areas of choice. The majority of people continues to stay in Homs governorate, while some have left for Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Lattakia, Tartous and rural Damascus. Upon departure from the shelters, people receive a card to be stamped when accessing services in Homs governorate. Over the past few months, mobile clinics have attended to hundreds of cases; over 2,500 food parcels have been distributed to thousands of families; and protection services are being provided to vulnerable individuals at a number of community centers in areas of second destination.
Recently, the UN was granted approval to implement a joint UN/SARC inter-agency plan for the Rukban residents, through which a) it will assess needs and determine numbers of those choosing to leave/stay; b) it will assist with departures from Rukban and provide relief to all residents. Mission’s preparations are underway, and the UN will monitor and ensure the plan and operation remain in line with international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles.