Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 - Syrian Arab Republic (Revised May 2019)

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Total people in need 11.7 million
Total children (<18) in need 5 million
Total people to be reached 10 million
Total children to be reached 5.7 million

2019 programme targets


2.9 million children under 5 years vaccinated against polio

2.2 million children and women of childbearing age supported through primary health care consultations


2.4 million children aged 6 to 59 months and pregnant and lactating women received micronutrients

1.8 million children aged 6 to 59 months and pregnant and lactating women screened for acute malnutrition

9,600 children aged 6 to 59 months treated for SAM

800,000 caregivers including PLWs counselled or reached with awareness on IYCF


3.7 million people accessing improved water supply

1.3 million people accessing improved sanitation services

1.5 million people accessing improved lifesaving/emergency WASH facilities and services


2.4 million children enrolled in formal general education benefiting from education services

440,000 children enrolled in non-formal education benefiting from education services

Child Protection

2.4 million people reached with mine risk education

350,000 Girls and boys engaged in structured and sustained child protection programming, including psychosocial support

51,000 women and men engaged in structured and sustained parenting programmes

Non-food items

680,000 children protected from extreme weather

Early recovery and livelihood

200,000 Adolescents and youth (10-24 years) promoting social cohesion and civic engagement at community level

11,500 children with disabilities received regular cash transfers

Eight years after the start of the conflict, the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic remains one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Some 11.7 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 6.2 million people internally displaced. Children, including those unaccompanied, separated or living with older/disabled caregivers, remain particularly vulnerable. Out of the estimated 8.44 million children living in the Syrian Arab Republic, 5 million require humanitarian assistance and over 3.1 million children under 5 years require nutritional support, as well as 1.6 million pregnant and lactating women. Grave violations of children's rights and violations of international humanitarian law continue, with children killed and injured by the persistent use of explosive weapons in civilian areas and the recruitment of children by armed forces and groups. Years of conflict dramatically reduced access to basic social services, with 2.1 million children aged 5 to 17 years out of school and 1.3 million children at risk of dropping out. Displaced populations and returnees, particularly in northeast and northwest Syria, are vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious diseases due to unsanitary living conditions, overstretched health services and low coverage of routine immunization. An estimated 577,219 newborns will require routine immunization across Syria in 2019, with an estimated 320,000 children between 13 and 59 months of age not fully vaccinated during their first years of life. In addition, some 15.5 million people require access to safe water, including 6.2 million people experiencing an acute level of water, sanitation and hygiene needs. The delivery of humanitarian assistance remains extremely difficult due to active conflict, insecurity, restrictions on movement and the imposition of deliberate constraints, including burdensome administrative procedures. As of March 2019, Idlib was hosting more than 1.3 million internally displaced persons, and despite the Russian/Turkish demilitarized buffer zone agreement, grave concerns remain regarding the possibility of a military escalation in Idlib with catastrophic humanitarian implications. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-led military campaign against the last Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-held enclave in northeastern rural Deir ez Zor scaled up at the end of 2018 resulting in large population displacement requiring urgent lifesaving assistance. Between December 2018 and midFebruary 2019, more than 10,727 households/42,000 people have arrived from Hajin in southeastern Deir ez Zor to Al Hole Camp, where the population has surged to over 73,000 people, way beyond the camp's capacity,. Majority of displaced persons are women and children. The new arrivals are in need of immediate lifesaving support. In the Southern part of the country, following the second humanitarian inter-agency delivery to Rukban in February 2019, a stranded population of over 30,000 at the Syrian- Jordanian borders remains in need of a more sustainable access. In April 2019 people started to leave Rukban camp and return to their areas of origin within Syria, mainly Homs, nearly 10,800 people (26 per cent of the total camp population) had reportedly left the camp.

Humanitarian strategy

The 2019 Whole of Syria strategy is based on the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), aligned to the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and the Syria Strategic Framework. In 2019, UNICEF continues to work closely with humanitarian partners to provide immediate life-saving service delivery focusing on the most vulnerable children affected by the crisis and disease outbreaks with a multi-sectoral response addressing their nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection and education needs. In addition, UNICEF is strengthening focus on scaling up interventions that build resilience. UNICEF continues to lead the nutrition, WASH and education sectors and the child protection sub-sector, and is working in close collaboration with implementing partners inside the country and across borders. To prevent epidemics, such as outbreaks of polio and measles and waterborne diseases, UNICEF and partners are providing targeted response in the highestrisk areas. To ensure that no child is left behind, UNICEF continues to advocate for the immunization of children in hard-to-reach areas, prevention of chronic malnutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, treatment of acute malnutrition and micro-nutrient supplementation. UNICEF continues to support increased access to safe water and promote good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases. Equitable access to education is being scaled up to support alternative learning, focusing on selflearning programmes, early learning and the quality of education. UNICEF is expanding child protection services in newly accessible areas and in camps and providing specialized services for high-risk child protection cases. Increased focus is placed on adolescents and young people, who are being supported through cross-sectoral services, life-skills programmes, vocational education and entrepreneurship training. UNICEF continues to engage in social protection schemes that combine regular cash distribution with case management, primarily targeting families of children with disabilities. Gender-based violence risk mitigation is being strengthened across all programmatic sectors.
Programming on the prevention of and response to sexual exploitation and abuse is being scaled up using a survivor-centred approach.
UNICEF continues to engage with communities to promote key behaviours related to their lives and well-being and create feedback mechanisms for affected populations.