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Syrian Arab Republic: Recent Developments in Northwestern Syria Situation Report No. 13 - as of 8 October 2019

Countries
Syria
Sources
OCHA
Publication date
Origin
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HIGHLIGHTS

2 million Internally displaced people in northwest Syria

400,000 People displaced since 1 May

4 million people in northwest Syria

51% children and

25% women

2.7 million People in need of humanitarian assistance in northwest Syria

SITUATION OVERVIEW

As the Syria crisis enters its ninth year, the humanitarian situation for people in northwest Syria remains alarming. Of the four million people in northwest Syria, living across northern and western Aleppo, northern Hama, eastern Lattakia and Idleb governorates, an estimated 2.7 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. Years of conflict have eroded the ability to cope for people across resident and displaced communities, making timely and principled provision of humanitarian assistance for them all the more critical.

The most recent escalation of hostilities between the Government of Syria forces and its allies and non-state armed groups compounded an already dire humanitarian situation in northwest Syria, where an estimated two million people are internally displaced. Following an increase in violence that began in late April, more than 400,000 people have fled their homes in search of safety and to access to basic services. Entire communities of people fled north mostly to areas near the SyrianTurkish border that are already densely-populated and where humanitarian assistance inside and outside camps is overstretched. Of the approximately 630,000 IDPs who live in camps or informal settlements in northwest Syria, some 457,000 are concentrated in Harim District, in particular in Atma and Deir Hassan sub-districts.

Adequate shelter remains one of the most pressing needs for the internally displaced people and for the host communities.

With winter rapidly approaching, winterization needs are becoming more urgent as women, children and men who live in open air, makeshift settlements or unfinished buildings will be at greater risk as the weather gets colder. As part of overall preparedness efforts, humanitarian actors have worked to develop a winterization plan aimed at mitigating the impacts of adverse conditions on the most vulnerable people.

While the levels of violence did subside following the announcement of a ceasefire on 31 August, shelling and airstrikes along the frontlines continue to affect communities. In particular, airstrikes have been reported in the Kabani area in northeast rural Lattakia governorate as well as along the frontline in southern Idleb, albeit at a much lower frequency when compared to the period from May-August. Artillery shelling also continues to be reported along the frontlines in northern Hama, southern Idleb and eastern Lattakia governorates. On 3 October, local sources reported that shelling damaged an NGO-supported health facility in Ma’arrat An Nu’man town in Idleb governorate, injuring two medical personnel and five civilians. The widespread destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, water stations and bakeries hampers the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced people.

the start of the school year in September, the impact of the hostilities on education becomes more alarming. Half of the schools in NSAG-held areas in Idleb governorate are estimated to be damaged or destroyed during the fighting or are being used as shelter for IDPs. Areas to which the majority of the civilians have moved are witnessing a shortage of space in schools, equipment and teachers, as the capacity of available schools has been greatly exceeded. Some 150,000 children are estimated to be among the 400,000 who have been displaced in recent months.

While active fighting between GoS and NSAGs does not affect northern Aleppo governorate, frequent security incidents reported in recent weeks such as fighting between armed groups, kidnappings and IED incidents negatively impact civilians and the operating environment for humanitarian partners and their ability to deliver. On September 24, a car-borne IED exploded in the center of Jandairis city, reportedly killing at least five people and injuring 15 others. The following day, a landmine exploded on the Kaljibrin – A’zaz road, injuring two people. On 26 September in the early morning hours, an IED reportedly exploded in east of A’zaz city, injuring one person. On 5 October, three IED explosions were reported in ArRa’ee, Qabasin and Jarablus in northern Aleppo governorate, reportedly injuring 17 people including four children and killing one child. In Aleppo city, an explosion in a park reportedly injured six people on 5 October. Such incidents, particularly those taking place in public spaces not only endanger the lives of civilians but also hamper access to basic services.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.