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Humanitarian Situation Overview in Syria (HSOS): Northwest Syria, October 2019

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HSOS is a monthly assessment that provides comprehensive, multi-sectoral information about the humanitarian conditions and priority needs inside Syria. The assessment is conducted using a Key Informant (KI) methodology at the community level, and collects information on shelter, electricity & non-food items (NFIs), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security and livelihoods (FSL), health, education, protection, humanitarian assistance & accountability to affected populations (AAP), as well as priority needs.

This factsheet presents information gathered in 1,040 communities across Idleb (441 communities), western Alepp (96 communities), northern Aleppo (496 communities) and northern Hama (5 communities) governorates. Data was collected during the first 10 days of November, and refers to the situation in Northwest Syria (NWS) in October 2019. Findings are indicative rather than representative, and should not be generalized across the region. The dataset is available on the REACH Resource Centre and the Humanitarian Data Exchange.

With the onset of colder temperatures and winter conditions in October, winterisation was cited as priority need for both resident and IDP populations. The need for winter-related assistance was highlighted across both shelter and NFI sectors. Specifically, the most common shelter inadequacies reported were a lack of lighting (connected to longer hours of darkness in winter), a lack of heating, and a lack of insulation from the cold. Additionally, while winter items were generally reported to be available in stores and markets, KIs in 616 (62%) of the 990 assessed communities reported that winter items were not affordable for the majority of people, stressing a clear need. More specifically, KIs reported needs within their communities for heating fuel, winter clothes, and winter floor mats.

In October, livelihoods was also reported as a top priority need for residents and IDPs as the depreciation of the Syrian pound, reported in REACH's October 2019 Market Monitoring, further impacted the purchasing power and livelihoods needs across NWS, where the most commonly reported source of livelihoods was low-wage daily labor. A lack of purchasing power was evident in reports of barriers to accessing a variety of goods and services across sectors. For example, the cost of materials was a commonly reported barrier to repairing shelters; the high price of water trucking and the unaffordability of alternative water sources were commonly reported barriers to accessing sufficient water for all purposes; the unaffordability of essential food items was commonly reported as a barrier to accessing sufficient food; the inability of families to afford education was a commonly reported barrier to children accessing education.