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UNHCR - Syria Fact Sheet (October 2020)

Publication date

The Syrian crisis is in its ninth year, with continuing staggering humanitarian needs in terms of scale, severity and complexity. The protection risks continue to be significantly documented in several parts of the country.

According to the 2020 Syria Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), some 11.06 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance, of whom 4.65 million people are in acute need.

Rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access remains challenging. The UN continues to advocate for sustained access for humanitarian actors to provide assistance and protection to all people in need across affected communities.

Working with Partners and Public Institutions

By 31 October, UNHCR had 28 partner agencies including six international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), 20 national NGOs and two government ministries; the Ministry of Local Administration and Environment and Ministry of Higher Education. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) is one of the key humanitarian agencies in Syria that is engaged in various aspects of humanitarian response on behalf of UNHCR.

Under the overall leadership of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNHCR continues to be the lead-agency for the Protection, Shelter and NonFood Item (NFI) sectors within the framework of the interagency approach which makes it a key player in the coordination structures and response. The Shelter Sector is co-led by UNHCR and the Ministry of Local Administration and Environment, while the NFI Sector is led by UNHCR in close coordination with SARC. UNHCR also maintains strategic partnerships with all the UN agencies providing humanitarian response in Syria.

Strategic Directions

Within the context of the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), UNHCR’s strategic directions and operational priorities are:

  • Prepare for and respond to potential influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees, as well as returns of IDPs and refugees.

  • Contribute to fostering an environment for voluntary, dignified, safe and sustainable return of refugees and IDPs with focus on support for those who have returned spontaneously and their communities.

  • Enhance protective environment for refugees and promote innovative solutions shifting from individualized approaches to more community-based interventions.

  • Strengthen delivery-focused partnerships to enable UNHCR achieve its interventions through inter-agency and sector coordination mechanisms. This includes the Special Situations Group, UN Country Team, Humanitarian Country Team, Return and Reintegration Working Group and Area Humanitarian Country Team.