UNICEF Syria-Wide Humanitarian Situation Report January-December 2021 – Syrian Arab Republic

Strong points

  • In 2021, UNICEF assisted 11.3 million people, including 7.3 million children (3.6 million girls) with humanitarian assistance. Families living in the most affected and inaccessible areas have been prioritized, with 276,000 people reached in hard-to-reach areas and 1.8 million in moderately accessible areas.

  • The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in Syria has increased by 21%, from 11.1 million in 2020 to 13.4 million in 2021, with 6.08 million children affected. This increase was driven by an economic crisis, violence in the northwest and other parts of the country, mass displacement, devastated public services and COVID-19.

  • Syria has recorded 179,895 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 6,666 deaths. So far, at least 1.5 million people are recorded as having received vaccines across Syria (1,260,427 in the Syrian government and northeast Syria areas and 246,258 in the northwest of Syria).

  • In 2021, UNICEF needed $334,430,071 to provide life-saving assistance to 9.1 million people (including 5.5 million children) across Syria, according to the Humanitarian action for children. $217,511,516 was made available, leaving a gap of $116,918,555 (35%).

Situation in numbers

6,080,000 children in need of humanitarian aid

13,400,000 people in need

6,700,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs)

2,565,766 children in hard-to-reach areas

(source: OCHA, Humanitarian Needs Overview, 2021)

Overview of Funding and Partnerships

In 2021, UNICEF needed $334,430,071 to provide life-saving assistance to 9.1 million people (including 5.5 million children) across Syria, according to the Humanitarian action for children (HAC). Of the total funding requirements, $217,511,516 has been made available, leaving a shortfall of $116,918,554 (35%). Funding gaps for nutrition (54%) and social protection (49%) remain particularly acute, with critical needs also seen in other sectors.

This year the governments of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Norway, Russia, from Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States as well as ECHO, the Syrian Humanitarian Fund and UNICEF National Committees have generously contributed to UNICEF’s humanitarian response across Syria. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private partners for this essential support.

UNICEF continued to lead the Water and Sanitation, Education, Nutrition Sectors/Clusters and the Child Protection Area of ​​Responsibility and the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) cluster. In addition, UNICEF also co-leads, with World Vision International, the No Lost Generation initiative, bringing together 39 UN and NGO partners to advocate for the protection, education and development of children, adolescents and young Syrians, as part of HRP Syria. and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP).

Overview of the situation and humanitarian needs

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in Syria has increased by 21%, from 11.1 million in 2020 to 13.4 million in 2021, with 6.08 million children affected (compared to 5 million in 2020). Humanitarian needs have increased, driven by an economic crisis, continued violence in the northwest and other parts of the country, mass displacement, devastated public services and COVID-19.

Humanitarian needs in North West Syria (northwestern Syria) were among the worst in the country, with 3.4 out of 4.2 million people in need of assistance2. Hostilities continued along the front lines in Idlib and Aleppo, with the biggest increase in hostilities in October since the March 2020 ceasefire agreement. Intermittent artillery fire and shelling in the ground hit northern Hama, Latakia and northern Aleppo. Security and military operations in different locations in northeast Syria (northeastern Syria) have intensified, including airstrikes.

Although no major military operations took place in the country throughout 2021, civilians continued to be heavily affected by violence across the country, including clashes between warring parties, munitions unexploded, improvised explosives and others. Children in Syria continue to be at high levels of risk, the Syrian Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism reported 2,271 grave violations against children in 2021, including 898 children killed or injured; 69% of verified violations occurred in northwestern Syria.

Cross-border and crossline operations: On July 9, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2585 expanding the use of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing into northwestern Syria. On January 10, this access was confirmed to be in effect until July 10, 20223. In accordance with resolution 2585, which also calls for efforts to improve cross-border deliveries of humanitarian assistance, UNICEF’s efforts to provide cross-border assistance to complement cross-border operations will also continue.

In 2021, UNICEF delivered $8.8 million worth of supplies from Damascus to NES and reached over 983,000 people in non-government controlled areas in Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa and Deir governorates. -ez-Zor in northeastern Syria as well as 25,000 people reached the border in Aleppo in December, who are supported by drinking water in Al-Brij, Atareb, Babtu and Kafr Kamin.

COVID-19[FEMININE:[FEMININE: Syria has recorded 179,895 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 6,666 deaths. This includes 36,960 cases with 1,480 deaths in northeast Syria and 92,884 cases with 2,315 deaths in northwest Syria. The actual number of cases is assumed to be much higher due to limited testing capacity. There have been 2,682 cases recorded in schools since the start of the school year in September: 469 students and 2,213 teachers/administrators, including 14 deaths.

Water crisis in northern Syria: Water flows in the Euphrates from Turkey to Syria halved from January to June 2021.4 In October, water levels remained low, affected by limited and variable rainfall5. At the end of August 2021, a third of the 200 water points along the river remain significantly affected, affecting 4.5 million people in the region.

Alouk Water Station: During the year 2021, the Alouk water station experienced several disruptions, with 83 days of stoppage and 26 days of partial service. Since the end of 2019, more than 460,000 people in the city of Al-Hasakeh and its surroundings, and half a million more in northeastern Syria, have been intermittently deprived of access to water. drinking water due to interruptions in water pumping and electricity supply.

Al-Hol Camp: IDPs in Al-Hol (57,000 people, 65% children) and Al-Roj (2,600 people, 67% children). The camps continue to face serious security threats. From January 2021 to January 2022, 90 killings of Syrian and Iraqi camp residents were reported, including at least two aid workers.6 Despite repatriation efforts, the Al-Hol camp population has only decreased by 10 % in 2021, including 3% per cent of third-country national (TCN) children. As of October, 7,800 TCN children were yet to be repatriated.

Dar’a Al-Balad: There were 850 reported security incidents resulting in at least 445 deaths in southern Syria in 2021. Conflict broke out between government-allied forces and non-state armed groups in Dara’a Al-Balad (pop. 55,0008 ) on June 24 and continues through September. The fighting displaced 36,424 people. After a ceasefire agreement signed on September 9, the situation began to stabilize. By November, the majority of those displaced had returned home, with around 3,700 people unable to return due to severe damage to their homes.

Rukban: The UN continues to advocate for access to nearly 12,000 people, mostly women and children, who live in the Rukban area on the Jordanian border; the UN has remained without access since September 2019. UNICEF, through its collaboration with SARC, continues to support the spontaneous departures of women and children in need of medical care at the transit site of Al- Wow. In December, UNICEF partners vaccinated 19 of these children and screened them for malnutrition. Five children and three pregnant or lactating women were identified and started treatment for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).

Socio-economic situation: In December, the national average price of the standard reference food basket reached its highest level since monitoring began in 2013 at SYP 220,112. Fuel shortages contributed to this increase. The devaluation of the local currency against the US dollar and the volatility of the informal exchange rate continued. On March 22, the Central Bank increased the exchange rate from SYP 1,256 to SYP 2,500 per US dollar. Meanwhile, Syrians living in northwestern Syria and humanitarian aid there have been hit, with the Turkish lira losing 40% of its value against the US dollar in 2021.

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