Health Cluster Weekly Situation Report: Whole of Syria, Week 47 (17 - 23 November 2017)


General developments & political & security situation

  • SAA (Syrian Army) liberated Albukamal from ISIS, and villages of Harran and Hardana in rural Hama.

  • Syrian Kurdish leaders voiced support on 15 November for a longer-term role for U.S. forces in Syria once Islamic State is defeated.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who flew to Russia for a working visit.

  • The United Nations is concerned about the new artillery shelling in Syria's de-escalation zone located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

  • Airstrikes on the town of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus damaged a warehouse storing aid that had arrived in the area on Sunday, for the first time in months, the deputy head of Douma’s local council told… that one-third of the aid supplies, including medicine, food parcels and “nutritional items” were still being stored in the warehouse at the time of the attack.

  • The free withdrawal of ISIL terrorists from the Syrian city of Raqqa is a result of a deal reached between ISIL and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

  • Iranian President and Hizbollah declare victory against ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

  • Six Russian long-range bombers struck Islamic State targets near the town of Abu Kamal in Syria’s Deir-ez-Zoir province, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

  • 20 civilians killed and 30 wounded on 16 November, in terrorist car-bomb explosion at a gathering of families in rural Deir Ez-Zoir.

  • Moscow: Washington killed the Joint Investigative Mechanism on use of chemical weapons in Syria.

  • Al-Jaafari, in statement before the 3rd Committee on draft resolution "Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic," (presented by US, Britain, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar), stressed that the Saudi regime and its allies were living in a state of political impotence due to defeat of their Wahhabi terrorist scheme in Syria; and called on Member States to vote against what he called “politicized” resolution.

  • De Mistura calls on the Syrian opposition to form a unified Syrian delegation to Geneva.

  • Homs: Al-Kindi Hospital opened in Al-Ghouta neighborhood of Homs city; following its rehabilitation and equipping with medical staff and supplies.

  • On 20 November UNHCR in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) dispatched a humanitarian aid convoy consisting of 12 trucks loaded with humanitarian assistance to Deir Ez-Zor governorate in eastern Syria.
    The convoy was due to provide essential relief items and winterization supplies to SARC’s branch in Deir Ez-Zor to lead the distribution process of mattresses, blankets and plastic sheets to people in need. UNHCR’s aid delivered included 10,000 mattresses and 20,000 blankets, 5,000 solar lamps and 3,000 plastic sheets. This is the third dispatch of UNHCR’s humanitarian aid to people of Deir Ez-Zor, after the opening of the land route to the city.

  • Convoy of 26 truckloads of humanitarian aid provided by the Red Crescent in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Jeiroud city, in Rural Damascus; including 7,200 food baskets, 300 vegetable baskets, seeds and fertilizers, miscellaneous relief items, medicines, medical materials, water and sanitation materials.

  • The UN has called on Syria's warring sides to stop targeting civilians in the capital Damascus and nearby neighborhoods, where escalating bombardment has killed dozens in recent days. Opposition groups and regime forces are locked in a cycle of tit-for-tat attacks around Damascus and in the opposition-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta. UN coordinator for humanitarian and development affairs in Syria Ali Al-Zaatari called on “all warring sides to avoid targeting civilians… for days, there have been daily reports about civilians being killed and others being severely wounded, in addition to warehouses, hospitals and schools being put out of service during the exchange of shellfire, particularly in Damascus and Eastern Ghouta.”

  • The findings based on a demographic and socio-economic survey carried out by NPM in September 2017 of the internally displaced person (IDP) population across all 14 Syrian governorates. A total of 20,201 households were surveyed, representative of 1,275,631 households (corresponding to a population of 5,996,004 individuals).

Highlights: A total of 47% of IDP families are undecided about their future plans, 27% intend to return back home and 17.5% intend to locally integrate. 4.6% have plans to leave Syria and 3.6% plan to move within the country. Of those planning to return home, 30% are planning to return to Aleppo, particularly to the sub-district of Jebel Saman.

Over 80% (nearly 370,000 families) intending to leave their current location plan to do so before the end of 2018.

Families are mostly expected to remain in displacement in the governorates of As-Sweida, Rural Damascus, AlHasakeh, Idleb and Aleppo. 65% of the families state security as their main decision-making factor and for those that intend to return, 15% state the need to re-possess property as the main reason. Newly displaced families are the most likely to express the intention to return, and vulnerable families are less likely to intend to return than nonvulnerable families.

  • Damascus Health Directorate launched its electronic website with a guide on its medical and administrative services.

  • Statement by Ali Al-Za’tari, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria: appalled by the two mortar shells hitting SARC warehouses in Quneitera, southern Syria, causing the destruction of food, WASH, and health supplies provided by the UN and humanitarian partners. Humanitarian staff and supplies are not a target. The UN stands ready to support SARC in repairing the warehouse and replenishing the destroyed aid to avoid any interruption of humanitarian activities in the area. The UN reminds all parties to the conflict of their obligation to protect humanitarian workers and relief items as per the international humanitarian law.