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Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Response 2020 Fact Sheet

Publication date

1,084,853 individuals received COVID-19 information and personal protective equipment.

USD 2.8 million The value of medical equipment purchased for health care facilities across the country.

12 quarantine and isolation sites renovated or rehabilitated in eight governorates.

COVID-19 in Syria

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented socio-economic impact on people in Syria and the rest of the world. In Syria, the impact is further compounded by ongoing hostilities in parts of the country, together with pre-existing economic fragility impacted by additional external shocks, resulting in a significant depreciation of the Syrian currency and shortages of essential commodities. The humanitarian needs of internally displaced people, returnees and refugees in the country – already substantial – have increased as a result.

In March 2020, the Government of Syria, like much of the world, enforced a two-month lockdown affecting airports and land borders. Only essential services such as pharmacies, grocery shops, and bakeries remained open and a partial curfew was imposed. Simultaneously, the government requested agencies including UNHCR to suspend their regular activities and sought support to respond to the public health crisis. UNHCR was one of the first agencies to support the government’s efforts to respond to the pandemic, swiftly re-directing resources to respond with specific COVID-19 related interventions such as providing medical equipment, personal and protective equipment (PPE), setting up isolation and quarantine sites, capacity building, developing relevant guidelines and offering multi-purpose cash grants for refugees. UNHCR Syria’s specific COVID-19 appeal of USD 4 million was fully funded thanks to the generous contributions from Austria, Estonia, Japan, Norway, and the United States of America.

By end-2020, the Ministry of Health announced the total number of registered COVID-19 cases had reached 11,344. Of this total, just under half (46.5%) had recovered and 704 had reportedly died. In the northeast of the country authorities reported that the number of cases had reached almost 7,000 by yearend.