USG Syria Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #19 for Fiscal Year 2013
· International media report that Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) forces have launched a military offensive against opposition-controlled areas of Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, potentially increasing displacement and humanitarian needs. On July 2, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement expressing grave concern for the estimated 2,500 civilians who remain trapped in areas of Homs under siege. International relief agencies are actively preparing for and responding to emerging needs in Homs and areas of northern Syria.
· The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) is actively preparing for possible new displacement and emergency food needs in northern Syria ahead of anticipated increases in hostilities. In Aleppo Governorate, WFP has pre-positioned emergency food rations to support 25,000 people for one month. This is in addition to WFP’s current monthly distribution of household rations, which in June targeted 559,000 beneficiaries throughout the governorate and 2.5 million people overall in Syria.
· The Government of Turkey (GoT) Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced a new estimate of 490,000 refugees in Turkey, the majority of whom—290,000—reside outside of camps in towns and cities. UNHCR has projected upwards of 1 million Syrian refugees in Turkey by the end of 2013.
· The incidence of measles is rising in northern Syria, with approximately 7,000 cases documented as of June 18—a result of disrupted vaccination campaigns, diminished health care infrastructure, and overcrowded living conditions associated with displacement, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF has not reached its vaccination beneficiary targets in several areas due to access restrictions and residents’ reluctance to congregate at health centers, citing fear of attack.