The East Ghouta area in Rural Damascus contains approximately 70 communities, including an internally displaced person (IDP) ratio of around 33% of the population.
Parts of East Ghouta have been classified as besieged by the UN since November 2013, and since November 2016 the entire enclave is considered besieged, with an estimated population of 393,000 people. East Ghouta has been subject to periods of intense military activity during 2017, with a significant escalation in hostilities between the Government of Syria (GoS) and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) notably Jaish al Islam (JAI) and Faylaq Al-Rahman starting from February and March. This was followed by an eruption of infighting between NSAGs in the enclave during April and May, which reportedly killed scores of civilians. Patterns of short-term displacement within the besieged enclave have also been reported in response to temporary and localized deteriorations in the security situation and evolving according to the dynamics amongst the NSAGs present on the ground.
Humanitarian needs in East Ghouta are dire and humanitarian conditions are rapidly deteriorating, with reportedly up to 70% of the 393,000 are people in need in multiple sectors. In 2017, despite of regular request to reach all locations in East Ghouta, only 15 convoys have delivered humanitarian assistance to locations in East Ghouta; four of these convoys took place before the establishment of the de-escalation area. Delays in regular access of convoys are also common.
The deteriorating humanitarian situation has had a significant impact on the nutrition status of children and women in East Ghouta. In light of this, the nutrition sector organized a SMART survey to be conducted in the area with the objective of assessing the prevalence of malnutrition for children 6-59 months of age.
The survey was conducted on 29 Oct – 14 Nov 2017. 27 cluster from all Eastern Ghouta region were surveyed. These clusters were selected randomly to represent all Eastern Ghouta region communities (NPM and CCCM data was used to know the Population of each location) Household selection was done using Simple or Systematic random sampling methods in each cluster. 314 children 6 – 59 month from 243 Household (HH) were included in the survey. Table 1 shows the summary of the nutrition indicators.