Syria

North-West Syria: Situation Report (20 Apr 2022)

Attachments

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Artillery shelling occurred on most days, while there was a significant decrease in airstrikes. OHCHR said shelling injured at least 6 civilians in March, including a child.

  • The Humanitarian Needs Assessment Programme (HNAP) recorded 7,982 new displacements of people, primarily due to the deterioration of the economic situation.

  • COVID-19 cases increased for a second consecutive month. In March, 5,386 new cases and 49 associated deaths were recorded, compared to 4,147 cases that were recorded in February.

  • As of March, 4.4% of the population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 8.7% of the population received one dose.

  • Floods affected 19 displacement sites and strong winds affected 217 sites in March. Six sites received heavy snowfall. Over 3,000 tents were damaged and 2,400 tents were destroyed.

KEY FIGURES

4.4M Population in north-west Syria

4.1M People in need in north-west Syria

3.1M Food insecure people

2.8M Internally displaced people (IDPs)

1.7M IDPs living in camps

TRENDS

Food insecurity

According to the 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), over 75 per cent of the population are food insecure in north-west Syria (3.1 million out of 4.4 million people). An additional 1 million people are deemed at risk of food insecurity.

The rapid depreciation of the Turkish lira has impacted the prices of basic commodities, especially food items, particularly in the last quarter of the year.

One fifth of displaced people in northern Aleppo and about 28 per cent in Idleb lived critically below the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB) of essential food and non-food items,according to a study by the Humanitarian Needs Assessment Programme. The figures were higher for those living in displacement sites. The cost of the Basket increased from $129 in September to $144 in February. The food component alone of the Basket was $105 in February, which is unaffordable for the majority of households across the north-west.

Food prices went up across Idleb and northern Aleppo in March: one litre of cooking oil cost about 45 per cent higher at the end of the month and lamb meat and chicken prices went up by 25 - 45 per cent. Most of the electricity in the region is sourced from Turkey. Fuel prices have been steadily increasing and electricity prices have already gone up by 125 per cent since January.

The rising prices impact local production costs of basic commodities, along with services and agricultural products. Already hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic deterioration, small businesses may close due to high inflation, further weakening economic recovery, adding to high existing unemployment and increasing poverty.

Due to high costs of agricultural inputs and irrigation, shrinking arable lands and drought conditions, wheat harvest from the last agricultural season was low. Northern Syria now depends on imports from Turkey for wheat and flour. The latter’s price for one ton went up from $390 to about $450 in early March and bread prices are fluctuating. In January, 5 TRY could buy about 775g of bread in Idleb, while the same amount could only buy 625g at the end of the month. Some 55 per cent of the population in north-west Syria cannot meet their daily needs of bread.

Inflation is impacting cross-border humanitarian response to the north-west

Cash vouchers no longer have the same purchasing power as originally intended as value assessments are becoming outdated. Support to bakeries is affected as projected budgets still reflect earlier wheat prices. This can result in suspension of subsidies by different actors, which can lead to unrest in the population. In addition, in-kind food baskets, which constitute the majority of food assistance, will be affected by disruptions in supply chains. There has been a wave of demonstrations due to high bread prices.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.