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 25th output reflects data collected in Sahila on 25-27 and 29 February -01 March 2020. In total, 65 KIs were interviewed on behalf of their travel groups (394 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 21,533 refugees crossing into the KR-I between 9 October and 2 March. 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 between the villages of Al Walid, Sahila and Kalhi in the KR-I, and have then been moved to Bardarash and Gawilan camps for registration.
There were on average 63 new arrivals per day over the last week, which is an increase compared to the previous week. Numbers have been increasing on daily basis, reportedly due to the weather improvement. In this update, the most commonly reported recent districts of residence in Syria were Quamishli, Ain Al-Arab, As-Safira and Al-Hasakeh. Furthermore, travelling by foot remained the primary mode of transportation, and was reported by 80% of KIs, while the use of vehicles to travel continues to increase and was reported by 15% of KIs this week. Fifty five percent (55%) of the groups were able to complete the journey to the border in a day, while 45% of the groups reported having to travel for several days. For most travel groups, lack of food, lack of water 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 arrival of armed groups are the most common push factors to leave their place of residence in Syria.