Background and Methodology
Due to the worsening security situation inside Syria, REACH Initiative (REACH) is conducting rapid assessments to monitor the influx and needs of Syrian refugees recently displaced to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I). In order to inform and provide an evidence-base for humanitarian planning, the REACH Iraq team launched data collection close to the Syrian border, to capture the demographics, needs and displacement history of those crossing from Syria into the areas surrounding Al Walid, Sahila and Kalhi villages in the KR-I. To gather this information, REACH conducted Key Informant (KI) interviews, with one nominated KI per travel group responding on behalf of the travel group.
This 24th output reflects data collected in Sahila on 18-20 and 22-24 of February 2020. In total, 55 KIs were interviewed on behalf of their travel groups (307 displaced individuals). As data is collected through KIs and only on specific days, results should be considered indicative and are not statistically representative.
Since the outbreak of conflict on 9 October 2019, residents of Northeast Syria (NES) are experiencing a new humanitarian crisis, resulting in massive displacement from the region, both internally and, to a lesser extent, towards the KR-I. As of 18 December 2019, the UN estimated that 70,590 people remain displaced, while UNHCR reported 21,089 refugees crossing into the KR-I between 9 October and 24 February. Days after a ceasefire agreement was reached on 17 October, a sharp decrease in daily refugee arrivals was observed. New refugee arrivals have been screened in Sahila village in the KR-I, and have then been moved to Bardarash and Gawilan camps for registration.
There were on average 51 new arrivals per day over the last week, which is an increase compared to to the previous week. Numbers have been fluctuating, but an increase occurred on the 20 and 24 February due to the weather improvement that is making it easier on the people to go through the journey. In this update, the most commonly reported recent districts of residence in Syria were Quamishli, Ain Al-Arab, Al-Hasakeh and Ras Al-Ain. Furthermore, travelling by foot remained the primary mode of transportation, and was reported by 87% of KIs. Fifty eight percent (58%) of the groups were able to finish the journey in a day, while 42% of the groups reported having travelled for several days. For most travel groups, lack of water, lack of food and challenges of travelling with children and elderly were reported as the most commonly encountered difficulties on the journey. Similar to former updates, KIs reported that the lack of livelihood, airstrikes and fear of conscription were the most common push factors to leave their place of residence in Syria.