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Research Terms of Reference: Northwest Syria Camps and Sites Assessment, December 2019 (SYR2003), Syrian, November 2019 (Version 1)

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With the conflict in Syria in its ninth year, the situation in the north-western part of the country remains extremely unstable.

As the last opposition-controlled territory in the country, northwest Syria has witnessed extremely high numbers of IDP arrivals, particularly in the last year, leading to increased pressure on resources and services. Since late April 2019, an escalation of shelling and bombardments in southern Idleb and northern Hama governorates has forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee to more stable areas in the north of Idleb and west of Aleppo, seeking refuge in areas already hosting a significant number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). In September 2019 alone, Idleb saw 58,607 displaced individuals, with 57,824 of them coming from other more conflict-affected areas within the governorate, while Aleppo governorate recorded 43,086 displaced individuals, mainly from Idleb (76%) or other areas of Aleppo (22%)2. These continuous arrivals of highly vulnerable populations increase the pressure on already overcrowded camps and overburdened infrastructures and services. With the winter season approaching and temperatures dropping, recently displaced households are particularly at risk and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. 3 However, major information gaps remain regarding priority needs for these populations in an area where the ability to provide assistance remains contingent on partners’ level of access, which is highly sensitive to recent rapid changes in context.

While the CCCM cluster provides a monthly-updated list of registered camps and sites in northwest Syria including population numbers, more extensive information on the needs and priority is limited, particularly at the household level. In addition, there is a considerable lack of information surrounding IDPs who reside in unregistered sites and receive less formalised humanitarian support. The Multi-sectoral Needs Assessment (MSNA) household level survey conducted in August 2019 in coordination with clusters to inform the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) provided a snapshot of multi-sectoral humanitarian needs across the whole of Syria, but the methodology did not allow for representation or disaggregation at the camps and sites level. Based on these limitations identified in coordination with OCHA, clusters, and partners on the ground, REACH will conduct an assessment to fill this information gap and provide information on the needs and humanitarian situation for people living in camps and sites in northwest Syria. This assessment aims to inform the overall humanitarian response in camps and sites for IDPs in the assessed area by providing humanitarian actors with multi-sectoral information on demographics, access to services, needs and priorities for the assessed population.