1. The current number of Persons of Concern (POCs) - predominantly Lebanese citizens - stands at 180,000 according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MOSAL). The Syrian Arab Red Crescent estimates that hereof, 45% are children, 30% are women and 25% are men.
2. Authorities are moving people to pioneer and scout camps to free up schools needed for the academic school year. There are reports that increasing numbers of Lebanese leave host families to organized shelters as coping mechanisms as these host families become increasingly strained.
3. As of 8 August, UNHCR reports that border monitoring of the four major border crossing points from Lebanon to Syria of Al Aarida, Dabbusiyeh, Jussieh, and Al Jdeihde show that the influx from Lebanon has now decreased to 1,500 a day, or some 10,000 a week. Return movements to Lebanon by predominantly male populations continue to be reported.
4. According to UNHCR the condition of the arriving Lebanese is now worsening. New arrivals seem to be more distressed and have less resources and baggage with them. Many travel by trucks and mini buses, and by foot where roads are damaged. Over 70% of those arriving over the past few days are women and children.
5. Once in Syria, the Government welcomes Lebanese refugees as 'guests'. Generous hospitality and support from Syrian families and civil society has been extended to new arrivals from Lebanon, but concerns over stretched capacities are on the rise as numbers and duration of stay increase.
6. As of 10 August, UN Security Phase II is in effect throughout Syria.
7. UN agencies and partners continue to work through the Sectoral Working Groups, and coordinating across sectors where necessary. In order to ensure better coordination of assessments and relief delivery, and in response to the Government of Syria (GoS) request for support, the UN has been working to strengthen central coordination with the GoS. Within this framework, specific efforts are made to obtain full clarity as to the procedures for import of commodities, assessments and actual program delivery. In addition, the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) has deployed a Senior Emergency Advisor who is working with GoS counterparts and other stakeholders to support national crisis management in Syria through a special project building on ongoing national and regional projects.
Estimated number of Lebanese in need of various degrees of assistance per Governorate
Alraqua : tbc
Dair Azzor: 400
Lattakia : 760
Rural Damascus: 23,261
Tartous : 11,000
8. The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to be extremely fluid with many persons spread across the country and on the move. While assessments and updates are still ongoing, an estimated 83,000 persons in need of various degrees of assistance in 11 out of 14 Governorates have been identified to date. It is not expected that all of the 180,000 Lebanese currently accommodated in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance and focus of humanitarian partners continues to be on most urgent needs. Many Lebanese are staying in hotels and with relatives and friends throughout the country and are already generously supported by relatives, friends, the private sector and civil society.
9. Estimates so far show that a total of 50,000 Lebanese in need of various degrees of assistance are accommodated in public sites in Alleppo, Damascus, Dar'ah, Dair Azzor, Hamah, Homs, Idleb, Lattakia, Qunayterh, Rural Damascus and Tartous. An additional estimated 30,000 are staying with families in the same areas.
10. Efforts to establish an accurate break-down of PoCs in organized shelters, host families, rented apartments and hotels are ongoing. This is important since the total number of Lebanese in organized shelters in need of humanitarian assistance is estimated to be substantially higher than 50,000.
Shelter, site management, and non-food items
11. UNHCR is assisting with site planning and will intensify shelter assessments in close coordination with local authorities and NGOs. Additional mattresses, bed sheets and sanitary materials are being purchased and distributed for those in public shelters.
12. UNRWA is assisting 1,500 persons in 13 schools, most of whom are Palestinian.
13. UNHCR has so far distributed non-food items to over 25,000 displaced persons in Lebanon and Syria. Over 730 metric tonnes of non-food items have been delivered to Damascus from Amman to replenish stocks for Lebanon and Syria. UNHCR also reports that non-food items delivered to Damascus up to 8th August include 1,000 tents, 100 light weight tents, 8,676 mattresses, 10,995 blankets, 40 plastic rolls, 2,495 plastic sheeting, 1,473 kitchen sets. NFIs dispatched to Homs include 1,000 tents, 100 light tents, 504 mattresses, 2,600 blankets, 104 kitchen sets. Urgent items on order include 3,300 pillows, 3,300 pillow cases, 3,300 sheets, 6,369 diapers, 66,666 pairs of underwear.
14. Health coordination meetings in Damascus continue to be hosted in WHO offices in Damascus and co-chaired by MOH/SRC and WHO, with active participation of a range of humanitarian agencies. Main tasks on the agenda include overall support to the health care system in Syria to cope with the additional work load created by the influx of Lebanese citizens, in particular in ensuring access to quality health care for the Lebanese guests in Syria, and in implementation of a functioning Early Warning system offering early detection of outbreaks and timely response and overall
15. According to UNICEF, latest figures from the EPI unit in the Ministry of Health (MoH) for the vaccination campaign coverage till the 9th of August are as follows: OPV coverage of Under 5s (97.4%), MMR coverage of 10-59 months (85.6%), Meningitis coverage of 24-59 months (88.7%), Measles coverage of 6-15 years (86.2%). Information received from some Governorates (Homs and Hama) still needs to be updated and more data will be available as of next week. It is to be noted that there is some resistance from families to the vaccination of children above 5 years.
16. UNFPA reports that the main constraints in addressing vital health needs, including reproductive health needs of the PoCs, involve improvements needed in accurate recording systems, deployment of medical staff on a temporary basis, lack of access to reproductive health information, and the lack of the most necessary hygiene and reproductive health supplies and equipment. Moreover, the lack of medical screening and monitoring means that many urgent cases are unattended.
17. UNFPA recommends launching Information, Education and Communication (IEC) initiatives to increase awareness of women and young people of relevant hygiene related issues, as well as healthy lifestyles. Further recommendations include arranging basic emotional support training amongst humanitarian and health workers and their community and psychosocial support services, and creating recreational activities for young people.
18. UNICEF reports that a nutritional assessment form with a health component has been finalized and a 3-day training of 12 teams composed of 4 health workers from Damascus and other Governorates is planned for 15th August. This will be followed by immediate implementation. The MoH is furthermore in the process of preparing a plan for breastfeeding promotion activities specifically targeting Lebanese pregnant women and those with infants.
19. UNFPA staff joined the Syrian Family Planning Association in its site visit with the mobile clinic, provided earlier by UNFPA to the Alzabadani camp, currently hosting 2,100 Lebanese of which 52% are women mainly of reproductive age. The visit covered 11 women, of which 6 were pregnant, hereof 4 in their 9th month of pregnancy. UNFPA has supported this clinic with a gynecologist, who recently started work. The services included ante-natal care, RTIs treatment, and drugs for anemia/counseling in addition to FP methods, which were requested by some clients.
20. UNFPA reports that it will explore opportunities of engaging with national counterparts, including NGOs equipped with qualified medical staff. In partnership with the national counterparts and UN sister agencies, UNFPA will also make inroads into solving health problems faced by women, adolescents and young people.
21. WFP operations are on hold until implementation details are finalized with the Government of Syria. It is expected that they will resume early this week.
22. The NGO Life for Relief & Development, Life-Syria, has distributed 200 food packages to the displaced Lebanese in Damascus and Rural Damascus. Each package costs 60$ and is able to feed a family for approximately 10-15 days. During the current two weeks, Life, in cooperation with IHH, is distributing 350 food packages to the displaced in many Syrian governorates. Each package costs 40$.
23. All humanitarian actors who would like to move cargo to Lebanon are requested to use the Cargo Movement Request form available at www.unjlc.org and send it to UNJLC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
24. UNICEF is seeking to establish a working mechanism with MOSAL related to delivery of UNICEF supplies to accommodation sites, and development of partnerships with NGOs.
Water and Sanitation
25. WES data from 57 sites in 4 governorates indicates:
- Water from the public network is available in 81% of the sites.
- Bottled water is available in 25% of the sites.
- Other sources/ tankering of additional water was available in 21% of the sites
- Chlorinated water was found available in 56% of the sites.
- Non-chlorinated water in 11% of the sites.
- Personal hygiene supplies were available in 89% of the sites.
- Garbage collection and disposal system in 91% of the sites is operational.
- The general cleanliness of the sites was found very-good in 70% of the sites and good in 23%.
26. UNICEF is planning to hire engineers to assess water and sanitation facilities at 35 housing sites in Damascus and Damascus rural in order to rehabilitate these facilities and expand their capacities wherever appropriate. This plan could be extended to cover other governorates.
27. The SARC estimates that current stocks of hygiene supplies can support 20,000 people for 2 months.
28. Supplies of hygiene kits for Palestinian refugees are expected to be delivered to UNRWA in the near future and toilet units have been installed at Dabbousiyah entry point; 3 for men and 2 for women.
29. In this week's WatSan co-ordination meeting, it was furthermore reported that water testing kits will be procured by WHO. Staff from the Ministry of Health will receive training in their use, for the quick detection of water contamination. WHO also plans to cover solid waste management inside hospitals.
30. UNICEF is currently consolidating a response plan in this sector. The following long-term plans are likely to be pursued:
- Water trucking in cases of shortages.
- Construction of toilets/ units at sites where there is a shortage.
- Rehabilitation of sanitation facilities.
- Installation of water heaters.
- Procurement of hygiene supplies.
31. During the weekly Protection coordination meetings hosted by UNHCR on 6 August, concerns were raised over cases of unaccompanied children and it was agreed that there is a need for enhanced assessments and response in this area.
32. The distribution of recreational kits of children is being pursued by a team composed of volunteers and UNICEF staff. So far 21 sites in Damascus have been covered and 1,425 children have been provided with access to these recreational kits.
33. Sub-clusters have been established for child protection (UNICEF) and women/ protection (UNFPA).
34. Concerns are increasing over the large numbers of Lebanese hosted in school facilities and the forthcoming beginning of the school year scheduled for September. While there is a clear intention to move refugees from the schools, questions remain as to alternative gathering places.
35. A definite plan for the education of Lebanese children in Syria is still under consideration. The MoE prefers the scenario of accommodating Lebanese children in Syrian schools and constraint are mainly related to transporting the students from their gathering places to the area schools.
Third Country Nationals
36. To date, IOM has assisted 9,564 Third-Country Nationals (from Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Ghana, Vietnam, Sudan, Nepal and Cameroon), in the following ways:
- Evacuating TCNs over land by bus convoys from Lebanon to Syria;
- Hosting TCNs in 2 sites in Syria: Kfar Sitta in Tartous and Mar Touma in Sidnaya;
- Providing food supplies during their stay in Syria (average 2-5 days)- thus far 143,460 hot meals in addition to other food items;
- Providing non-food items to the returnees and to the camps- bed sets, kitchen sets, and hygeine kits;
- Providing pre-departure medical screening for every returnee, providing necessary medication to medical cases, and referring complicated medical and psychological cases to Syrian health institutions;
- Providing professional psychological counseling for some returnees;
- Providing medical escorts on selected final destination flights;
- Providing management assistance to the camps;
- Repatriating TCNs to their home countries on 35 charter planes and 17 commercial flights
37. In support of coordination of assessment and response to address the needs of the most vulnerable of the 180,000 Lebanese in Syria, the UN is consolidating a list of sites hosting Lebanese based on standardized assessments carried out to date by agencies in collaboration with a range of national and international partners, including the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Syrian Lebanese High Council and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
38. As part of efforts to consolidate centralised coordination efforts with the GoS, next steps include consolidation with assessments carried out by the MOSAL and the SARC, a wider geographical scope, particular to Northern and Eastern areas to which families are being transported, as well as more accurate assessments of needs of persons staying with host communities and overall response (Who is doing what where).
39. The virtual Humanitarian Information Center for the Lebanon Crisis available at www.humanitarianinfo.org/lebanon contains a range of information on the humanitarian situation and response as well as Humanitarian Contact Lists, Meeting schedules and maps. Humanitarian partners are encouraged to post relevant documents by submitting to email@example.com.
40. A number of projects in various sectors outlined under the Lebanon Crisis Flash Appeal cover Syria and are complemented by regional projects with Syria components. According to reports received by the UN Financial Tracking System as of 11 August no funding has been received within the framework of the Flash Appeal solely for the humanitarian response in Syria, but contributions of USD 26 million have been allocated to regional projects covering activities in the sectors of Coordination, Food, Health, Shelter and NFIs, and Water and Sanitation.
41. Of the overall requirements in the Flash Appeal of USD 165 million, 77 million or 46% has been funded as of 11 August. The Financial Tracking System has furthermore received reports so far of additional contributions outside the framework of the Flash Appeal amounting to USD 85 million, while another USD 536 million have been pledged.
42. Top donors include the United States, Kuwait, Norway, the European Commission, Saudi Arabia, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. Agencies and donors are encouraged to report pledges and contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org on a daily basis.
- In collaboration with the GoS, need to further build on existing POC data and arrive at one authoritative list for usage by all humanitarian actors with a view of enhancing clarity on exact POC locations, humanitarian deliveries and urgent outstanding needs.
- Improve operational tasking and mid-term planning as regards POC accommodation.
- Contingency planning for various scenarios.
- Return planning
For further information, please contact:
OCHA Mission to Syria: email@example.com
Mr. Ivo Freijsen, Head of Mission +963 934 75636
Ms. Sofie Garde Thomle, Information Management Officer +963 955 57807
Ms. Nadia Evans, Reports Officer +963 985 81824
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.