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)
This assessment was conducted with a view to firstly establishing a baseline in the aftermath of the internal displacement crisis across all sectors of intervention and second, enabling a time-series analysis once a third MSNA is conducted later in 2015. Given that the second round of the MSNA was larger in geographical coverage and sampled at a lower administrative boundary, significant comparisons cannot be made between the first and second rounds. Any comparisons presented here are indicative estimates only.
With the conflict in Syria showing no signs of abating in its fourth year, refugees that have flooded into neighbouring countries are facing a drawn out situation of asylum. By November 2014 223,923 Syrian refugees (79,296 households) had sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). 42% of these were residing in nine camps across the three governorates of the KRI and adjacent disputed territories.
After nearly four years of conflict, Syria is still the most complex humanitarian emergency in the world. 6.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in at least one sector. The Syria Multi Sector Needs Assessment (MSNA) estimates that 4.8 million people are internally displaced out of a current total population of 15 million in the assessed areas.
Millions of Syrians have now fled their homes in search of safety as the conflict inside the country enters its fourth year. There are currently an estimated 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Syria and another 2.7 million are believed to have left the left the country. Many displaced Syrian households have integrated into host communities or settled in formally established camps – but a large proportion of displaced Syrians has resorted to living in informal settlements within Syria and in neighbouring countries.
At least 2.7 million Syrians are now reported to have fled to neighbouring countries, as the conflict enters its fourth year. Those displaced outside Syrian borders are matched by more than twice as many who have been forced to relocate inside the country, where an estimated 6.5 million people are reported to have been displaced. Overall, 9.3 million Syrians remaining inside the country are believed to not have access to basic human needs.
This assessment presents an analysis of data collected by REACH enumerators between 22 and 24 July 2014 in Ar-Raqqa city. The findings from this assessment highlight sector specific – Food, Health and Water – humanitarian needs and gaps in order to inform the relief response for affected populations in Ar-Raqqa city. This assessment does not aim to provide detailed programmatic information; it is designed to share with a broad audience a concise overview of the current situation in this area and to guide further assessments.
As the Syrian crisis extends into its fourth year, the number of refugees in Jordan continues to increase with the vast majority living in communities outside of refugee camps. With the support of REACH, the World Food Programme (WFP) carried out a Comprehensive Food Security Monitoring Exercise (CFSME) throughout all twelve governorates of Jordan and in Za’atri Refugee Camp in December 2013 and January 2014 in order to assess the vulnerabilities, food security situations and living conditions of the UNHCR registered Syrian refugee population in Jordan.
Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in March 2011, approximately 2,697,808 refugees have fled into neighbouring countries. Jordan hosts some 589,792 refugees.1 Al Za'atari refugee camp2 opened in July 2012 and has since received a large influx of displaced populations from Syria. The camp is housing 104,494 refugees,3
Priced out of host communities and unable to reside in official camps, increasing numbers of displaced Syrians seeking refuge in Jordan have formed informal tented settlements (ITS) in rural and peri-urban settings.
87 informal settlements hosting a total of 7,028 individuals identified across five governorates.
Time-series comparisons indicate a 113% increase in the number of settlement residents in comparison to December 2013.