Aleppo - Governorate profile March 2013

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This document is the first Governorate profile published by the Syria Needs Analysis Project (SNAP). The profile describes the current situation in Aleppo, with regards to the conflict, the subsequent displacement situation and the humanitarian needs, where available per district. The Syria Needs Analysis Project welcomes all information that could complement this report. For additional information, comments or questions please email

The north-western governorate of Aleppo is home to around one fifth of Syria’s total population and experienced a large influx of IDPs as the crisis escalated in Dara’a, Hama, Homs and Idleb in 2011 and early 2012. Initially considered something of a safe haven, Aleppo has suffered from fierce and protracted conflict since mid 2012 witnessing large-scale offensives by both the Syrian Government troops and anti-Government fighters. A large part of the governorate and parts of Aleppo city are currently under control of a multitude of anti-Government groups. The most recent attack on a neighbourhood in Aleppo has once again focused attention on the fragile humanitarian situation in the governorate.

Much of Aleppo city has been destroyed during what has been some of Syria's fiercest violence, and residents suffer constant power cuts and frequent water shortages. Fighting and indiscriminate bombing, including the use of heavy weaponry such scud missiles, is widespread in the governorate and is continuously causing large-scale displacement. Around 900,000 IDPs were identified in January and March, of which 500,000 reside in Aleppo city – although these estimates are considered low and because of the fluidity of the situation, secondary and tertiary movement is common. There are two unofficial IDP camps near the border with Turkey, hosting an estimated 25,000 people.

While significant information gaps remain, particularly with regards to baseline data; market prices on a local level; and the protection situation, the governorate is the best covered in terms of available information. Two Joint Rapid Needs Assessments were undertaken in Aleppo, covering 23 sub-districts and 52 city-neighbourhoods during which 5.8 million people were found in need, with food security and health as main priority sectors. Although the governorate borders Turkey, and cross-border trade is booming, food security is one of the main problems facing Aleppo’s population. Access to food is very limited, primarily because prices are high and people have lost their main source of income. Widespread destruction of health infrastructure and a lack of supplies and staff make access to appropriate care increasingly difficult. Some 99% of homes were connected to the electricity network before the start of the crisis but long power cuts are now common and in some areas electricity has been unavailable for months. This lack of power, together with the exodus of many Government employees who run and maintain public services has impacted public services (such as urban water supply; solid waste removal, health services). With the increase in temperatures, up to 23oC in April, WASH related concerns are becoming more pressing, with communicable diseases such as Hepatitis A on the rise.