North-West Syria – Shelter & NFI Emergency Overview (May 2020)

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Major Developments in North-West Syria

Over 2.6 million IDPs are living in north-west Syria, including 960,000 people have who have been newly displaced since December as a consequence of the latest escalation in conflict.

Shelter options are extremely limited and many IDPs resort to inadequate types of shelter. According to HNAP, 44% of IDPs use tents as shelter, around 9% are staying in substandard shelter, most of which are unfinished buildings; and 3% of IDPs have found public buildings, like schools, to be the only shelter option, thereby disrupting the provision of public servic


Shelter/Non-Food Item (SNFI) Cluster members continue to actively respond to the needs of the newly displaced population as well as protracted IDPs in north-west Syria. Around 201,649 individuals, both IDPs and host community members, were assisted with NFI and/or shelter in May.

In May, more than 146,000 individuals received NFI kits, which contain kitchen sets, mattresses and blankets, as well as winter items. Shelter needs of around 55,000 people were addressed with activities including emergency shelter assistance and shelter rehabilitation.

The SNFI Cluster is actively coordinating with the Health and WASH Clusters to respond to the needs of the IDP population in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. SNFI aims to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during distributions, to improve the conditions of inadequate shelters and decongest overcrowded collective shelters. The SNFI steered and ensured that all the SCHF-1st standard allocation 2020 proposals are in line with the SNFI guidelines on COVID-19.

In contribution to the Health Cluster response plan, 316 tents were provided to be used as triage stations in the health facilities in north-west Syria. Soap and washing powder continue to be included in the NFI kits; in April and May, 52% of the people who were assisted with NFIs received additional soap. Hygiene measures, in line with recommended WASH practices specific for COVID-19, are promoted during assistance distributions to reduce the risk of transmission.

In coordination with the WASH Cluster and UNICEF, 2,360 posters and 48,010 stickers have been provided to 10 SNFI Cluster members to raise awareness. SNFI Cluster members also continue to provide awareness-raising sessions, either at an individual level or in small groups. The Cluster supports OCHA to map the gap of Personal Protective Equipment, whereas surveys have been conducted to monitor gaps reported by members. Some cluster members were able to provide protective equipment to their staff.