As of 31 July, the population of Al Hol has reduced to 68,823 people (or 19,244 households), following the deregistration of some 2,000 individuals who failed to present for three consecutive rounds of assistance, and the departure of 196 Syrian IDPs to Sur in Deir-ez-Zour on 11 July and 126 Syrian IDPs to Menbij in Aleppo on 23 July. Overall the camp population remains roughly the same, comprising Iraqis (45 per cent), Syrians (41 per cent) and Third Country Nationals (14 per cent). Of the overall total, some 94 per cent are women and children, of which 67 per cent are under the age of 18.
Following concerted efforts by all partners there has been an overall improvement in the WASH situation in the camp: a new water pump has been installed at Dabaghya Reverse Osmosis station serving around 25,600 individuals, in addition to four additional filling stations providing domestic water, two of which are located in Phase. A further seven water tanks have also been installed in the Annex. Regular water quality tests are being carried out as bacterial contamination affects, on average, 80 per cent of jerry cans, with plans underway to further support decontamination efforts through the distribution of 1.9 million aqua tabs (sufficient to cover families’ requirements for two months) and the continuation of awareness raising campaigns promoting safe hygiene practices. Emergency SPHERE standards for latrines (1:20 people) have been met in phases 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8, with work ongoing to meet this across all remaining phases by mid-August. Overall, these efforts - combined with a change in ice vendor - have led to a reduction in the number of diarrhea cases reported over the past month-from over 1,000 a week at the end of June to 657 at the end of July. Cases of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition have also registered a decrease, particularly those with serious health complications, with external referrals for the latter also reducing—from 7-10 children a week in mid-July to 2-3 a week by the end of the month.
In addition to the three field hospitals recently established, two static mental health points have now opened in phases 5 and 6 and a minibus made available to transport emergency medical cases to health facilities inside the camp. Cholera kits have also been distributed to health partners in all phases, and a cholera preparedness plan rolled out which includes awareness-raising sessions for health workers; a rapid test for suspected cholera cases; and the establishment of three oral rehydration corners in phases 1, 4 and 5 and one underway in phase 7 for diarrhea treatment. As reported in June, the three field hospitals are yet to function at maximum capacity, although a blood bank was activated in phase 1 in early July.
Relocation of residents from phase 7 to phases 6 and 8 is taking place gradually with half of all available plots (2,808) occupied to date. Currently, around 50 families are being relocated each day. A survey to determine residents intention to relocate to phases 6 and 8 has also been developed and is under review; protection actors will conduct the survey once finalized. Over the next few weeks it is expected that the pace of relocation will increase following the hiring of additional trucks and labourers who are facilitating the process.
Partners are also liaising with Camp Administration on the enhancement of services in both phases focusing particularly on illumination and the establishment of a market and educational facilities, the latter of which would benefit 2,000 students.
While no new return movements took place since 23 July, draft return procedures for Syrian IDPs were formulated and shared with the camp administration for review and operationalization, along with plans to establish three additional information desks across the camp to communicate related plans, including timeframes, selection criteria, transportation arrangements and civil documentation requirements. While 2,000 Iraqi refugee households have so far registered for repatriation, the process remains on hold pending further details on process and timeframe from the Iraqi government. In the meantime, humanitarian partners continue to advise Camp Administration that they are not in a position to directly facilitate such movements at this time, until the situation in Iraq is considered safe for returnees.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.