Humanitarian Situation Overview in Syria (HSOS): Hama Governorate, November 2017

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Overall Findings

An offensive against the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in late August, followed by a rapid escalation in conflict in northern Hama in mid-September resulted in large-scale displacement, both within and out of the governorate to neighbouring Idleb. In December, 58% of assessed communities in Hama reported that pre-conflict populations had left in November due to an escalation of conflict, a majority of which are located in central and north-eastern Hama. Despite the rapidly changing conflict situation, eight communities in the same sub-districts that were witnessing departures saw an estimated 4,370 - 5,865 people spontaneously return in November. The largest number of returnees were reported in Maan (1,700 - 2,100) and Murak (1,600 - 2,500). IDPs were present in six communities, of which four are located in the western sub-districts of the governorate that were less affected by active conflict. The two remaining communities, both located in Suran sub-district, reported that IDPs were present because they had no money to afford onward movement and other accessible locations were less safe (Maan), and physical obstacles and family ties prevented their onward movement (Murak).

Out of the 53 communities assessed, 6 reported having no electricity source in November. Nonetheless, butane and diesel were available in all the six communities, and kerosene and firewood were available in five. The price of butane in Latmana (550 SYP) was considerably lower than the governorate average of 5,669 SYP, while the price in Mazhal and Ein Eljern (10,000 SYP) was considerably higher. Conversely, the price of diesel was below the governorate average (403 SYP) in all six communities, and lowest in Mazhal (60 SYP) and Ein Eljern (100 SYP). Of the 53 assessed communities, 20 reported functional problems with their latrines and 42 reported that garbage was either buried, burned or left in the street or other public areas. Of these communities, 24 reported that diarrhoea was one of the most common health concerns in their community and seven reported that water either tasted or smelled bad, or made people sick. Rainwater was the most common source of drinking water in Ein Eljern. Almost half of the assessed communities reported that residents were resorting to coping strategies to deal with a lack of medical items.

Over 80% of communities assessed in Hama reported that residents experienced difficulties in accessing sufficient food, the most common being the high prices of some food items. In the 28 communities that reported prohibitive prices, the sale of household assets, unstable (daily) employment and remittances were the most commonly cited sources of income, thereby indicating a need for stable livelihood opportunities in the governorate. Severe food coping strategies were reported in 19 communities and children in 21 communities were reportedly sent to work or beg. In two communities, Jeb Hanta and Jalma, this coping strategy reportedly affected those younger than five. Only 23 communities reported that all children had access to education. Of the remaining 30 communities, only 2 reported that children were able to attend educational facilities in nearby areas.