Humanitarian Situation Overview in Syria (HSOS): Northwest Syria, September 2020

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HSOS is a monthly assessment that provides comprehensive, multi-sectoral information about the humanitarian conditions and priority needs inside Syria. The assessment is conducted using a key informant (KI) methodology at the community level, and collects information on shelter, electricity and non-food items (NFIs), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security and livelihoods (FSL), health, education, protection, humanitarian assistance and accountability to affected populations (AAP), as well as priority needs.

This factsheet presents information gathered in 891 communities across western Aleppo (25 communities), northern Aleppo (522 communities), Idleb (339 communities), and Hama (5 communities) governorates. Data was collected between 5-17 of September 2020, and unless specified by an endnote, all indicators refer to the situation in the 30 days prior to data collection (August/September 2020). Findings are indicative rather than representative, and should not be generalized across the region. The dataset is available on the REACH Resource Centre and the Humanitarian Data Exchange.

Key Highlights

September findings suggest that poor economic conditions, protection risks specific to children, and the spread of COVID-19 are the primary challenges for communities in northwest Syria (NWS). The depreciation of the Syrian Pound (SYP) against the US Dollar, the instability of the Turkish Lira, and the declining purchasing power of Syrian households have negatively impacted livelihoods. High housing prices and unaffordability of shelter repair services and materials were evident, especially in northern Aleppo. KIs in more than 90% of communities cited low wages as a barrier to fulfilling basic needs. Additionally, affordability emerged as the top barrier to food security, as reported by KIs in 78% (for residents) and 81% (for IDPs) of communities where barriers were present.

KIs also reported protection risks specific to children. In communities where risks were reported, roughly 70% of KIs selected child labour, while nearly half selected forced or early marriage. Child labour was utilized to cope with a lack of sufficient household income, and this coping strategy was most commonly reported in Daret Azza and northern Idleb.

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact northwest Syria. As of 12 September, 213 cases had been identified in the region, and COVID-19 had begun to spread in camps near Sarmadab and Bab Alsalameh. The pandemic reportedly disrupted access to basic services in many communities and negatively affected livelihoods. While home-based and agricultural enterprises were relatively unaffected, manufacturing and trade were significantly disrupted by the spread of the virus.