North-west Syria: Cross-border Humanitarian Response Fact Sheet (April 2020)

Originally published


In 2020, UNHCR has sent across the border over 453,000 core relief items and shelter materials to assist 406,900 individuals.

As humanitarian needs continue to be urgent, in April,
UNHCR sent 10% more relief items than in March and 65% more than in February.

In 2020, through its partners,
UNHCR has provided protection services, such as information dissemination and referrals, to over 41,700 individuals.


  1. Support the coordination of the cross-border humanitarian response through the Cluster system

  2. Identify protection risks and assistance needs and inform the overall response

  3. Provide protection services and emergency assistance with core relief items and shelter material

  4. Build capacity of (local) humanitarian organizations

  5. Fill critical gaps in the basic needs of IDPs where required and feasible


Of a total population of 4 million people in north-west Syria, there are 2.7 million IDPs, who are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance. The violence that escalated in December 2019 caused 960,000 people to be newly displaced from Idleb and western Aleppo; around 840,000 of them remain displaced in an area that has limited shelter options. The fighting has caused the destruction of civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, schools, bakeries, and has disrupted the provision of basic services, further deteriorating an already dire situation. Half of the IDPs are children and many are people with specific needs. Protracted IDPs share the same urgent needs as new IDPs.

In January, the UN Security Council Resolution that enables the cross-border humanitarian response was renewed for six months until 10 July 2020.

In March, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. While there are no known cases in northwest Syria, access to health and adequate sanitation in the context of continuous displacement remains limited.
Humanitarian actors are active in preparedness and response planning to ensure effective prevention and response to COVID-19 and, at the same time, continue delivering lifesaving humanitarian assistance.