Northeast Syria: Area-Based Assessment of Deir-ez-Zor Governorate - May 2019

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The ongoing conflict in Syria has led to displacement from and within Deir-ez-Zor governorate. Since the last REACH Situation Overview of Deir-ez-Zor governorate in February 2019, the progressive de-escalation of active conflict continued and humanitarian access improved in the governorate. However, there are still significant access and security limitations in various areas of the governorate and the displacement context remains dynamic. Humanitarian actors face substantial information gaps in terms of the locations and priority needs of non-displaced residents, spontaneous returnees (SRs), and internally displaced persons (IDPs). REACH has conducted a sixth round of the Deir-ez-Zor Situation Overview in order to inform the humanitarian response in the governorate on the multi-sectoral needs of the conflict-affected populations.

Key Findings

• Displacement: Spontaneous returnees movements have occurred since the previous assessment and the end of active conflict in the governorate. SRs have come from other governorates and from within Deir-ez-Zor itself, towards locations all over the governorate. The estimated number of IDPs in the area remains high (77,500 individuals) despite large movements to Al Hasakeh governorate since January 2019.

• Food Security & Livelihoods: Livelihoods remain the most reported priority need, since a large proportion of the population cannot access them. The use of negative coping strategies by households to fulfill their basic needs has been reported, which may be linked to the increased cost of living, changing exchange rates and market supply chain issues, as well as a disrupted local economy due to the conflict.

• Education: Despite improved coverage by accessible primary education facilities, the overall estimated attendance rate has decreased since February 2019 and IDPs continue to access education at a significantly lower rate than host community children. Child labour continues to be a significant barrier to accessing education, as it was one of the reported strategies used by households to cope with a lack of income.

• Protection: In addition to the high prevalence of child labour, rates of early marriage have reportedly increased across the governorate. In the Southwest and the Northwest, IDPs reportedly faced restrictions on movement and the confiscation of documents. In the East Line, IDPs reportedly faced threats from explosives and armed groups, in relation to the active conflict that was ongoing during the reporting period.

• Shelter: IDPs, as well as SRs who have not returned to their former homes, were commonly reported to be living in unfinished or damaged shelters, especially in the Northwest and the Southwest. Across all areas, 22% of shelters reportedly have at least a minor damage. Unaffordably high prices of repair materials and professional repair services were the most frequently listed barriers to shelter repair.

• WASH: Insufficient access to water was reported to be an issue in the East Line, the North Line, and the West Line, where the main reported barriers were the high cost to obtain water and partial or complete inoperability of the main network. In these areas, the most commonly reported sanitation issues were flooding in the streets, open defecation, and the absence of a functioning sewage network.

• Health: Many areas across the entire governorate faced gaps and challenges in terms of health services coverage, accessibility and functionality. The main reported barriers to accessing healthcare were the cost of services, a lack of skilled and female medical professionals, and the time and money required to travel to facilities.