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02 Apr 2014 description

The fourth edition of ‘Shelter Projects’, is launched at a time when shelter is more relevant than ever as an instrument of humanitarian response. The case studies in this edition reflect the on-going challenges posed by responses to complex emergencies such as Haiti and Pakistan as well as new challenges derived from unprecedented level of population displacement in Africa, Asia and in the Middle East.

17 Dec 2013 description

In Syria, government military aircraft targeted rebel-held districts in the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 15 people according to opposition activists. In parallel, Damascus announced that it had retaken control of the key Damascus – Homs supply highway after gaining ground in the battle for the strategic Qalamoun region. London and Washington decided to suspend all non-lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition fearing that military equipment may fall under the control of Islamic radical groups.

09 Dec 2013 description

Snapshot 3 - 10 December

In Syria, the conflict has been going on for over 1,000 days, and to date, the war has displaced 6.5 million people internally and forced 2.3 million to cross into neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, Washington indicated that it has been in talks with Islamist opposition factions non-linked to Al-Qaeda, in order to push for a negotiated settlement to the crisis.

02 Sep 2013 description

In Syria, intensive fighting continued in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus and Homs. Intensive clashes which ignited at the start of the month between Government and opposition groups in the governorate of Lattakia appeared however to have ceased. At the start of the week, the US warned that a military strike against Syria was imminent, following the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus on 21 August. By the end of the week, President Obama indicated that he would seek congressional approval of the Congress before undertaking such an action.

26 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, fighting continued in Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Dar’a, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idleb, Rural Damascus and Quneitra. A large-scale chemical weapons attack in Ghouta killed hundreds of people, according to opposition groups that blamed the Government on 21 August. After some delay, Damascus allowed UN inspectors to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack while denying being behind the assault. Meanwhile, over 1.9 million Syrians have been registered with UNHCR or are awaiting registration in neighboring countries.

19 Aug 2013 description

Snapshot 12 – 19 August

In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.

12 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, large-scale fighting between opposition and Government forces has been reported across Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Aleppo, and especially Lattakia and Damascus governorates. Increasing strife between combatants of the FSA and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fighters continue to also be reported, especially around Aleppo and its countryside. In addition, as clashes increased between Kurdish armed groups and fighters of the ISIS, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan openly floated the idea of staging an intervention in Syria to support fellow Kurds.

05 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, Government forces are advancing in Homs and expected to retake opposition-held districts in the short-term, while operations have been ongoing in other major cities, including Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, infighting within opposition forces is spreading between various armed groups. Clashes are continuously reported between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh and Ar-Raqqa governorates.

29 Jul 2013 description

Critical underfunding highlighted in IOM’s Mid-Year Review of humanitarian activities

Switzerland - IOM’s annual mid-year review of humanitarian needs highlights a critical funding shortfall of USD 233.2 million for 2013. IOM has identified funding needs of USD 354.6 million for 2013 in its revised funding requirements as of mid-year.

To date, IOM has received only USD 121.3 million in funding for its humanitarian projects in 22 countries, including Syria and its neighbouring countries.

22 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, despite the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan on 9 July, large-scale operations have been ongoing in several major cities, including Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, and Idlib with regime forces pushing to extend the gains obtained over the past weeks with support of the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. Infighting within opposition forces has escalated in recent days with clashes reported between various Islamist and more moderate groups, notably between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh governorate.

15 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes, displacing 400,000 and leaving an estimated 2,500 and 4,000 civilians trapped in and around the city. Some 2 million people in Government-controlled areas in Aleppo are affected by a siege of opposition forces that is blocking food and medicines from entering several areas. While the UN and the Red Cross have called for a truce during the month of Ramadan, the cease-fire was rejected by the Government.

08 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes being reported. An estimated, 2,500 and 4,000 civilians are allegedly trapped in and around the city. Meanwhile, the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries continues to increase and is now approaching 1.75 million people according to UNHCR.

19 Jun 2013 description

New UNHCR report says global forced displacement at an 18-year high

A report released today by UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, says that more people are refugees or internally displaced than at any time since 1994(1), with the crisis in Syria having emerged as a major new factor in global displacement.

03 Jun 2013 description

Snapshot 27 May – 03 June

In Syria, the government military continued its offensive on opposition-controlled Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. Humanitarian agencies expressed alarm over the fate of thousands of civilians still trapped in the city. The UN estimates that over 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. While an estimated 5 million people are internally displaced, the number of Syrians registered or awaiting registration in host countries has surpassed 1.6 million.

31 May 2013 description

Fragile states are risky environments. Many states fail in their responsibilities to their citizens but those states which are fragile, failed or weak are particularly liable to render their citizens vulnerable. Failures of authority or legitimacy can lead to the emergence of significant organised violence; the impact of this can then be compounded by the failure of the state to protect its citizens, especially minorities.

13 May 2013 description
report Reuters - AlertNet

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the toughest places for aid workers, who not only struggle to reach vulnerable people due to conflict, but are also killed for being seen to help opposing groups, the head of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said.

Read the full report

06 May 2013 description

In Syria, fighting between the Government and opposition groups continued in all governorates apart from Tartous and As-Sweida. Following a large scale offensive by the Government initiated on 26 April, heavy fighting has been reported in and around Damascus. Clashes in Eastern Ghouta forced the closure of Damascus international airport. Approximately 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country while some 4.25 million people are displaced and over 1.4 million people have fled into neighbouring countries.