A year after conflict ceased in Ar-Raqqa, damage to the city remains widespread. Residents continue to return in large numbers despite the complex safety and security context. Recovery efforts have increased access to basic services including education, water infrastructure, and healthcare. However, challenges persist, that will leave residents particularly vulnerable during the winter season.
REACH has conducted a series of assessments to monitor the humanitarian situation as residents spontaneously return and services resume in the city. This most recent Area-Based Assessment (ABA) in Ar-Raqqa city provides an update to the June 2018 ABA, examining multi-sectoral needs of civilians living in the city and their access to relevant services and infrastructure. The following sectors were assessed (click to access page): Population, Returns, and Access; Shelter; Protection; Electricity; Health; Education; WASH; Livelihoods; Food and Markets, Nutrition; Bakeries; and Non-food Items (NFIs). An annex also provides an indepth look into the health situation in Ar-Raqqa city.
The ABA was conducted as part of a wider global initiative aiming to support humanitarian response in urban areas through an area-based approach, in which the humanitarian situation in an area is examined through a territorial, multi-sectoral lens. To support planning and implementation in Ar-Raqqa city, various information management mechanisms are currently under development in partnership with humanitarian actors in northeast Syria.
- Spontaneous returns are increasing to areas in the central part of the city which were previously scarcely populated, suggesting these areas are increasingly perceived as habitable.
- Since June 2018, the most common source of water for residents has shifted from water trucking to accessing water through the increasingly rehabilitated main water network. The main water network is generally available throughout the city, but the level of access varies in each area.
- Winterisation non-food items (NFIs) were consistently reported as priority needs for resident households. Moreover, these urgently needed NFIs were generally reported to be unavailable in over half of all neighborhoods, suggesting that residents throughout the city face significant challenges in preparing themselves sufficiently for the upcoming winter.
- Livelihoods opportunities remain scarce in the city and half or fewer than half of households in 14 DCUs are able to cover their basic household needs through their income. The average income is reportedly below 50,000 Syrian pounds (SYP) per month, and child labour remains a common negative coping strategy for residents to deal with insufficient income.
- Despite an increase in the number of available health facilities, which include public healthcare services, large proportions of households still struggle with accessing required treatment. Healthcare services suffer fro shortages including sufficient personnel, a lack of specialised services such as dialysis treatment, and lack of vital medical supplies such as prosthetics. Main healthcare needs reportedly include emergency care, provision of assistive devices and limb reconstruction surgery, and treatment for chronic diseases.