Key Findings And Recommendations
Summary of achievements
Over the course of 2019, an average of six million people in need were reached with some form of humanitarian assistance on a monthly basis. Of these people, three million were women and girls. A total of 79 per cent of this humanitarian assistance was delivered in communities where needs were considered highest (severity three and above in an inter-sector severity classification model ranging from one to six, six being the worst). Partners also provided 2.9 million protection and health services each month during the reporting period. The scale of the response was possible using two response modalities to provide assistance to people in need across the country.
Donors provided over USD 2.1 billion to the coordinated humanitarian response in Syria. Thanks to this generous support, humanitarian organizations in Syria continued to deliver a massive humanitarian response to people in need across the country, including in north-west Syria (NWS) and north-east Syria (NES). 168 partners appealed for funds under the 2019 HRP, of which 75 were national partners.
Key recommendations for future response
Strengthen multi-sectoral response approaches to address the multi-faceted nature of needs in Syria, and increase the timeliness and collective impact of the response. An increase in multi-sectoral responses would be particularly beneficial to more efficiently address, for example, nutrition, protection, child protection, Gender-Based violence (GBV), WASH and livelihood-related needs, all of which specific population groups such as displaced persons frequently face simultaneously.
Increase investments to build up preparedness to rapidly scale up responses at the onset of sudden emergencies. While significant efforts have already been undertaken, some sectors require additional funding to ensure contingency stocks are fully replenished and to build up mobile capacities to address urgent needs arising from renewed hostilities and displacements.
Further expand activities that contribute to building resilience and restore safe access to basic services. An increasing number of areas in Syria meet conditions to gradually shift from costly short-term emergency interventions to more sustainable and dignified approaches which enhance people’s self-reliance and reduce dependence on humanitarian assistance.
Strengthen coordinated advocacy to promote adherence to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL), including the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Increased and flexible funding, including to the pooled funds, to allow humanitarian partners to rapidly scale-up and adjust their response through the most appropriate response modality, in a highly dynamic context.
Continued importance of humanitarian assistance
Despite the tremendous efforts undertaken by humanitarian partners, humanitarian needs across the country remain considerable in scale, severity and complexity. As of December 2019, an estimated 11.06 million people were in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, compared to 11.7 million people at the end of 2018. Hostilities, displacement and lack of basic services are deepening vulnerabilities and increasing the severity of need across the country despite continued relief efforts. Sustainably reducing the number of people in need and preventing further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country will require continued humanitarian assistance as well as concerted efforts to address the underlying causes and systemic drivers of need, restore basic services and ensure a protective environment.
Humanitarian partners leveraged the various response modalities to reach those most in need with regular and sustained assistance. Over 72 per cent of WASH, Early Recovery and Livelihoods (ERL), Food Security and GBV services are provided from within Syria. Over 50 per cent of Health, Shelter, Non-Food Items (NFI), Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and Agriculture assistance was delivered through cross-border modalities; humanitarian partners operating in areas outside Government-control continue to rely on transhipments and regular movement of staff and supplies. However, access for humanitarian partners was hampered in areas affected by active hostilities and in areas where state control was re-exerted, partly due to unexploded ordnances. Bureaucratic challenges remained another major access constraint.
National partners continue to be the backbone of the humanitarian response. In 2019, 75 national partners appealed for funding through the HRP, 24 per cent of which received direct funding from international donors according to the FTS.
Funding shortfalls constitute one of the principal impediments to scaling up the humanitarian response in areas that witness intensified hostilities or increased displacements. Limited longer-term predictable funding continues to hinder the ability of humanitarian partners to build on past investments and address systemic gaps that hinder the scope and scale of humanitarian response. Reallocating resources from regular programmes often comes at the cost of drawing resources away from other critical needs, and will likely compound the vulnerabilities of affected women, men, girls and boys. The country-based pooled funds remain the quickest and most flexible modality for disbursing funding to humanitarian partners and enabling a timely response in Syria’s highly dynamic context.