Syria/Iraq: Polio Outbreak - Oct 2013
On 28 Oct 2013, the Minister of Health of the Syrian Arab Republic announced that, after a 15-year absence, polio had returned to the Middle East. Thirteen cases were confirmed from Syria's Deir Al Zour province. The occurrence of an outbreak reflects declining immunization rates due to the severe interruption of public health services and to the conditions in which the people are living. A comprehensive outbreak response will need to be implemented across the region, with seven countries and territories to conduct mass polio vaccination campaigns targeting more than 22 million children aged under 5 years. (Strategic Plan for Polio Outbreak Response in the Middle East)
As of 8 Feb 2014, 17 confirmed polio cases had been reported from Syria's Deir ez-Zour Governorate, three from Aleppo Governorate, one from Al. Hasakeh Governorate and two from Idleb Governorate (WHO/UNICEF, 8 Feb 2014).
By 20 Mar, a total of 37 cases had been reported: 25 cases by the Syrian Arab Republic Ministry of Health, and 12 cases from contested areas (Aleppo, Edleb and Deir Al Zour) not yet reflected in official figures. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 17 Dec 2013. Further evidence of regional spread was confirmed by notification of a case from Iraq, the first polio case in the country since 2000. The case, a six-month old boy from Baghdad who had not been immunized, developed paralysis on 10 Feb 2014. Genetic sequencing indicates the virus is most closely related to virus detected in the Syrian Arab Republic. (WHO, 21 Mar 2014)
By 8 Oct, three cases had been reported in the Middle East with onset of paralysis in 2014 - two in Iraq and one in Syria. The most recent case reported from Iraq occurred in Mada'in district, Baghdad-Resafa province, with onset of paralysis on 7 Apr. Syria’s most recent case had onset of paralysis on 21 Jan. The fact that six months had passed with no new cases being reported indicates that transmission of the virus has been interrupted. (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 8 Oct 2014)
U.N. and Government of Iraq (GoI) establish Joint Coordination and Monitoring Center to improve humanitarian response.
USG partners provide essential seasonally appropriate assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Displacement continues in south and central Iraq.
Authorities in Dohuk Governorate relocate internally displaced persons (IDPs) from over 100 schools to camps.
The lack of adequate shelter remains a primary concern for many displaced people due to winter weather.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) prompts new displacement from Salah ad Din.
The U.N. released the FY 2014-2015 Iraq Strategic Response Plan (SRP) on October 23.
Relief actors continue to prepare for the upcoming winter months, prioritizing shelter assistance.
Violence in the city of Hit, in Al Anbar Governorate, displaced thousands of people.
USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) assesses several IDP locations in Erbil Governorate.
The Government of Iraq (GoI) continues national polio vaccination campaign, targeting an estimated 5.8 million children under the age of five.
Regional authorities and relief actors work to relocate IDPs from schools to prevent further academic year delays.
The U.N. reports that the Syria conflict death toll exceeds 191,000 people and the refugee total surpasses 3 million people.
The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) delivers food assistance to 4.1 million people in August.
The adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2165 improves the U.N.’s humanitarian access in Syria.
Relief agencies continue to report deteriorating humanitarian conditions due to the protracted conflict.
The Syria conflict death toll exceeded 170,000 as of early July, and violence displaced an estimated 688,000 people from April to June.
The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution authorizing U.N. cross-border and cross-line assistance without SARG approval on July 14.
The U.N. and its partners provided aid to the besieged town of Madamiyet Elsham, Rif Damascus Governorate, for the first time since late 2012.
The U.N. reports an estimated 10.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria.
The Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) intensifies attacks in southern Syria, resulting in continued access and insecurity constraints for humanitarian organizations.
Insecurity and bureaucratic procedures prevent delivery of U.N. food assistance to Al Hasakah Governorate in June.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is delaying the delivery of humanitarian assistance as security conditions deteriorate in northern areas of Syria and Iraq.
Barrel bombing conducted by the Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) killed nearly 30 people in the city of Aleppo on June 16.
SARG attacks on June 18 killed more than 20 people and injured 80 others near the Syria– Jordan border in Dar’a Governorate.
U.N. leadership condemns lack of progress implementing objectives of U.N. Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2139.
Poor rainfall levels threaten Syria’s staple food crops, compounding the conflict’s effect on agricultural production.
Relief agencies are planning a measles vaccination campaign as the number of suspected cases rises.
Suspected poisonous gas attacks target civilian areas as international organizations continue efforts to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.
Iraq–Syria border closure could impede population movements and the delivery of humanitarian supplies in northern Syria.
USG partners—including U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)— successfully deliver food aid in hard-to-reach areas of Syria.
The number of individuals killed in the first three years of the Syria crisis surpasses 150,000, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) expects below-average harvests in May due to persistent insecurity and drought conditions.
U.N. official reports access restrictions continue to impede assistance delivery.
Insecurity continues to severely constrain humanitarian access, particularly in Syria’s northeastern governorates.
Relief organizations mobilize vaccination efforts in response to 280 suspected measles cases in Syria.
U.N. agencies deliver vital food and relief commodities from Turkey to Syria’s Al Hasakah Governorate.
- UNICEF describes Syria as one of the world’s most dangerous countries for children
- Escalated fighting in southern Syria generates additional displacement
- WFP food assistance reaches Ar Raqqah Governorate for the first time in six months
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for unimpeded humanitarian access to reach conflict-affected populations in Syria.
High numbers of displaced persons in the city of Aleppo have raised accommodation concerns, with many staying in public parks and streets without food, shelter, or weather-appropriate clothing.
U.N. releases largest global humanitarian appeal to date; more than 50 percent of the requested funds are for Syria.
Winter storm exacerbates conditions for IDPs and refugees throughout region.
WFP airlift from Iraq enables conflict-affected populations to receive assistance for the first time in six months.
· The U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) now confirms 17 cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Syria.
· A comprehensive polio outbreak response continues across the region with campaigns targeting 22 million children under five years of age.
· On November 28 and 30, UNHCR airlifted a total of 26.9 metric tons (MT) of relief supplies to cover gaps in hard-to-reach areas of Syria.
The U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) now confirms that there are 13 cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Syria.
Countries across the region are implementing polio vaccination campaigns in response to the outbreak.
Humanitarian convoys provide assistance to nearly 313,000 people in hard-to-reach areas.
The U.N. increased estimates of people in need of assistance in Syria to 9.3 million—42 percent of the Syrian population.
The U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed ten cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WVP1) in Dayr az Zawr Governorate.
Polio vaccination campaigns are underway across Syria and neighboring countries.
U.N. Security Council issued a nonbinding Presidential Statement calling for Syrian authorities to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations in Syria.
Initial test results from the national polio laboratory in Damascus indicate that two cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) detected in Dayr az Zawr Governorate could be positive for polio. Key actors are considering plans for a possible response.