Allocation Strategy Paper Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund (SCHF) 2021 1st Standard Allocation

Manual and Guideline
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Project Proposal Deadline: 15 April at 15:00hrs (Turkey time) on GMS only

Partners' training will be organized as part of the allocation process to support the submission of good quality proposals in line with this allocation strategy.

Only TWO proposals per partner organization will be accepted for this allocation and a maximum of three including as a sub-implementing partner. Final allocation decisions will also take partners’ performance into consideration.

For this allocation, the new SCHF Operational Manual1 will apply as noted in information sessions.


• Between 2020 and 2021, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in northwest Syria has increased from 2.8 to 3.4 million people. The overall humanitarian situation remains dire for 4.2 million people living in Idleb and Afrin as well as A’zaz to Jarablus areas in northwest Syria. Humanitarian needs in northwest Syria continue to be driven by the impacts of over a decade of hostilities exacerbated by economic deterioration and multiple displacements.

• The security situation in the northwest is further undermined by conflicts between/among armed groups and prevalence of explosive hazards further, while the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued rapid devaluation of the Syrian Pound (SYP) exacerbate the already grim humanitarian situation of the affected people.

• More than 2.7 million are Internally Displaced People (IDPs), many of whom are living in over-crowded locations with limited access to essential services. As of February 2021, approximately 1.7 million IDPs were living in 1,385 camps or informal sites (including 24,800 people displaced in January and February 2021 alone). Women and children represent 80 per cent of this caseload while more than 22,000 IDPs are reported to be persons with specific needs. This must also be considered against the lingering effects of the massive displacement of nearly 1 million people in early 2020.

• Meanwhile, according to the Humanitarian Needs Assessment Programme (HNAP), 242,468 individuals have returned to their place of origin in northwest Syria in 2020. Between January and February 2021, close to 7,400 people are estimated to have returned to southern Idleb and western Aleppo governorates despite difficult conditions for return, including contamination of explosive hazards, and limited access to basic service and livelihood opportunities.

• The type and scale of needs faced by people and families in northwest Syria is pervasive and multifaceted due to a convergence of factors arising from prolonged and multiple displacement and lingering conflict, a sharp reduction in purchasing power, the loss of essential livelihoods and income, mounting food insecurity, limited access to basic services such as health, WASH, education, nutrition and critical protection services, inadequate shelter conditions as well as the immediate and longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• People in northwest Syria continue to suffer extreme physical and psychological harm due to ongoing violence and human rights violations, despite a reduction in large-scale hostilities since March 2020. In 2020, OHCHR documented approximately 2,000 civilian casualties primarily in Aleppo and Idleb because of airstrikes, ground-based shelling, armed clashes, and incidents involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs), unexploded ordnance and landmines. Over 4,400 individuals have been killed or injured in the last four years because of residual explosive ordnance contamination. In 2021, hostilities continue to impact communities across the northwest, especially in areas near the M4 and M5 highways in Idleb governorate where some 400,000 people live.

• The expanding impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the lives of people in humanitarian settings in northwest Syria. While the number of positive COVID-19 cases has steadily decreased, there is a continued need to focus on treating and mitigating the spread of the virus and its impacts on displaced people and other vulnerable communities, including the healthcare workforce, and supporting scale-up of the public health response. As of 7 March, there were more than 21,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 11,560 cases in the Idleb area and 9,651 in the northern Aleppo governorate. Of these, 637 COVID-19 associated deaths were reported and 19,104 people reportedly recovered.
The percentage of current cases among medical healthcare workers are 7.4 per cent, while a further 5.4 percent are auxiliary workers in the health sector. More than 10 per cent of all COVID-19 cases are in IDP camps. Communities continue to report reduced effectiveness of community support networks, inter alia due to COVID-19 related stigma, with potentially increased barriers for older people and persons with disabilities.

• The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with displacement, underfunding and economic deterioration have exacerbated the consequences of underinvesting in education, deepening inequalities, and access to continued learning for children.
Due to the compounding impact of the 2020 situation, many school-aged going children are behind in their learning, finding it difficult to return to school or are at risk of dropping out. They are also facing higher protection risks.

• Without adequate resources and due to the general economic deterioration in northwest Syria, people in need have continued to resort to negative and harmful coping mechanisms. The devaluation of the SYP continues to create severe economic instability, reaching new historical lows over 3,900 SYP/USD on 7 March. The SYP is now some 270 per cent weaker than at the same date last year and has devalued some 20 percent against the USD in just the last month alone.
As conditions in IDP camps and settlements are already dire, people in need have been resorting to measures such as the reliance on burning unsafe materials for heat and cooking, which risks outbreaks of fires or harming people through the emission of toxic fumes. Thirty-four fire incidents were reported in IDP sites in February, mainly due to malfunctioning or misused heating or cooking stoves, which destroyed 55 tents and resulted in 18 injuries.

• In early 2021, heavy rainfall and widespread flooding further increased the needs of communities in northwest Syria.
According to the CCCM Cluster, from 14 January to 3 March, more than 152,700 IDPs were affected by the flooding, with one death and three injuries reported, as well as some 27,700 tents destroyed or damaged. Many people also had food and household items damaged or destroyed during the floods. This affected at least 418 IDP sites, and access issues were reported due to the flooding. The flooding increased the need for tent replacements, food, non-food-items, plastic sheets, multi-purpose cash assistance, ground levelling, winterization and gravelling support, and the provision or repair of WASH services. Within this allocation, emphasis will be to ensure vulnerable communities are provided with much needed access to safe IDP sites, shelter, and dignified living conditions.

• While an anticipated reduction in donors’ funding is expected in 2021, the level of needs remains high and multiple funding gaps in critical services and operations are already visible. This will put further strains on the response and demands on this allocation. Considering the current working assumption that donors’ funding capacity may be constrained in 2021 and noting the amount of funding already allocated by the SCHF in 2020 ($185.9 million), it will be critical to ensure interventions under the SCHF addresses the high level of complex and diverse needs focusing on where it brings the strongest added value and respond to the highest needs. To this end and keeping in mind the specific context related to the resolution’s renewal, efforts to prioritize funding will be critical to allow for adequate planning and better quality of the allocation outcome.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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