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2015 Strategic Response Plan: Syrian Arab Republic

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December 2014

Prepared by the Humanitarian Country Team

SUMMARY Strategic objectives

  • Promote protection of and access to affected people in accordance with International law, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL).

  • Provide life-saving and life-sustaining humanitarian assistance to people in need, prioritizing the most vulnerable.

  • Strengthen resilience, livelihoods and early recovery through communities and institutions.

  • Strengthen harmonized coordination modalities through enhanced joint planning, information management, communication and regular monitoring.

  • Enhance the response capacity of all humanitarian actors assisting people in need in Syria, particularly national partners and communities.


Humanitarian needs in Syria have increased twelvefold since the beginning of the crisis, with 12.21 million in need of humanitarian assistance, including 7.6 million internally displaced people and more than 5.6 million children in need of assistance. An estimated 4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in hard to reach areas and locations. Humanitarian needs in Syria have reached a record high, and the coping mechanisms of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and host communities are all but exhausted. An estimated 9.8 million people are considered food insecure, including 6.8 million in high priority districts. Meanwhile, 11.6 million people are in urgent need of access to clean water and sanitation. Water availability has decreased to less than 50 percent of its pre-crisis levels. More than half of Syria’s hospitals have been destroyed or badly damaged and, today, it is estimated that only 43 percent of hospitals are fully functional. An estimated 1,480 women give birth in dire conditions every day due to the weakening of the healthcare system, and outbreaks of communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases (including polio and measles) have increased. Roughly a quarter of schools have been damaged, destroyed or used as collective shelters and for other purposes than education. An estimated 1.2 million houses have been damaged or destroyed and more than 1.6 million people are in need of shelter. A series of Rapid Nutrition Assessments conducted in 13 governorates between March and July 2014 indicate a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 7.2% and a Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) rate of 2.3%. Population groups considered most vulnerable to malnutrition include IDPs, children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. Similarly, due to multiple displacements, 9.9 million are in need of life saving and essential NFIs. Palestine refugees are particularly affected, with 64 per cent of registered Palestine refugees displaced, 280,000 internally and a further 80,000 abroad.

Almost the entire Palestine refugee population remaining in Syria is reliant on UNRWA to meet their basic humanitarian needs.

A number of drivers, including the crisis, unilateral economic and financial measures imposed on Syria, the deepening economic decline, the drought and reduced availability of basic services have contributed to the exacerbation of the humanitarian situation over the past year.

For the 2015 SRP, ‘protection’ refers to the protection of all affected civilians including men, women, children, and other groups with specific needs from violence, exploitation, discrimination, abuse and neglect.

Humanitarian access to people in need remains constrained by the closure of many key border points, violence, bureaucratic procedures, safety and security concerns and the presence and activities of terrorist groups listed in UNSCR 2170 & 2178.

A political solution to the crisis in Syria needs to be found. Until then, displacement--as well as the humanitarian and protection needs of civilians--may worsen in 2015. Humanitarian action will take place in a context of increased crisis and a more complex and demanding operational environment.
The humanitarian response articulated in the Strategic Response plan (SRP) is within the framework of the Whole of Syria approach, which is bringing together humanitarian actors working from inside Syria or neighbouring countries for the first time, and is aimed at increasing the overall effectiveness of the response. Humanitarian actors identified five overarching strategic objectives to guide the implementation of the SRP, focusing on: protection of and access to affected people; delivery of emergency life-saving and life-sustaining assistance; strengthening the resilience of affected communities and institutions; ensuring harmonised coordination mechanisms; and, capacity building and support to all humanitarian responders.

While humanitarian needs have increased by about 31 percent since the same period last year, humanitarian actors under this plan are requesting US$ 2.9 billion to effectively respond to the needs of 12.2 million people across the country. The net increase in funding requirements represents a 5 per cent increase from SHARP 2014 and the Syrian humanitarian response from Turkey, totalling US$ 2.9 billion. The fact that the increase in the overall appeal requirement is less than the increase in needs is testimony to the greater efficiencies brought about through the Whole of Syria approach.

Although the funding provided for the Syrian humanitarian response represents the highest level of funding of any humanitarian appeal to date, it still falls short of addressing the magnitude of needs.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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