1. The present report is the thirty-eighth submitted pursuant to paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 2139 (2014), paragraph 10 of resolution 2165 (2014), paragraph 5 of resolution 2191 (2014), paragraph 5 of resolution 2258 (2015) and paragraph 5 of resolution 2332 (2016), in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to report, every 30 days, on the implementation of the resolutions by all parties to the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic.
2. The information contained herein is based on the data available to United Nations agencies on the ground and from the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and other Syrian and open sources. Data from United Nations agencies on their humanitarian deliveries have been reported for the period from 1 to 31 March 2017.
Key points in March 2017
(1) Rounds four and five of the United Nations-facilitated political negotiations in Geneva were concluded in March. The rounds ended with a clear agenda and a greater understanding of the points of commonality and divergence.
(2) Notwithstanding the ceasefire declared as at 30 December 2016, fighting in multiple areas resulted in further civilian deaths and injury and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
(3) The situation in eastern Ghutah in Rif Dimashq, where hundreds of thousands of people are besieged in a number of towns and surrounding rural areas, and adjacent neighbourhoods of Qabun, Barzah and Tishrin deteriorated further amid reports of shelling, air strikes and heavy ground fighting.
(4) Close to 100,000 people were displaced as a result of fighting and insecurity in several governorates. The United Nations and non-governmental organization partners mobilized a multisector response to those displaced.
(5) Some 6,800 people were evacuated from the besieged neighbourhood of Wa‘r in Homs to Jarabulus in rural Aleppo and locations in Idlib as part of a local agreement between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and local representatives in Wa‘r. The United Nations was not involved in the negotiation or evacuation process.
(6) Overall, some 440,000 people were reached through inter-agency operations, including through eight inter-agency convoys to besieged and hard-to-reach locations, on-going airdrops to besieged Dayr al-Zawr city and through the airlift link from Damascus to Qamishlii, given access challenges overland. More inter-agency convoys deployed in March, compared with the past several months, notwithstanding ongoing access challenges.
(7) Syrian authorities approved a total 764,950 of the 1,066,650 requested beneficiaries (71.7 per cent) under the April/May convoy plan. Six locations with more than 132,000 people in need were denied. Some 168,000 people were approved in locations where the approved total was less than the United Nations request.