Idleb governorate and the surrounding opposition-held areas of western Aleppo and north-western Hama governorates host one of the largest IDP populations in Syria. Since late 2017, following an escalation of violence in north-western and southern Syria, the region has witnessed the further arrival of a substantial number of IDPs. Large cross-line displacements from Eastern Ghouta, northern Homs and southern Hama, beginning in March 2018, have led to a significant increase of the IDP population in the region. While humanitarian assistance is reaching both camps and out-of-camp communities, major gaps remain. In order to address such gaps, REACH has conducted a needs assessment to inform humanitarian actors of IDPs' needs and to address critical information gaps on the humanitarian conditions of IDPs in host communities in the region. This situation overview provides an outline of findings from this assessment.
• An estimated 1,207,295 IDPs were reported to reside in the 255 assessed communities of Idleb, Aleppo and Hama governorates at the time of data collection. On average, IDPs represented 36% of the total population (3,331,836) in assessed communities. With 377,918 IDPs, Dana sub-district accounted for 31% of the total reported IDP population.
• 68% of all IDPs reportedly arrived to their current location more than six months ago. The majority of IDPs were reported to originate from other communities in Hama (22%), Aleppo (21%) and Idleb (16%) governorates.
• An estimated 210 thousand IDPs (17%) were reportedly living in overcrowded shelters at the time of data collection.4 Almost half of these (48%) were in Dana, Idleb, Atareb and Salqin sub-districts.
• Key Informants (KIs) in 69% of assessed communities reported that IDPs faced a general lack of employment opportunities as a barrier to accessing livelihoods. The most commonly reported push and pull factors for IDPs expected to leave their current location in the month following data collection were loss of income (56%) in their current host communities and job opportunities (66%) elsewhere.
• Assistance from NGOs was reported as one of the most common sources of food for IDPs in 56% of assessed communities. In 78% of assessed communities, IDPs were reportedly using negative coping strategies for lack of food, including selling productive assets and skipping meals.
• KIs in 176 (69%) assessed communities reported that health facilities and services accessible to IDPs were affected by a lack of medicines and medical items. Furthermore, 24% of assessed communities reportedly had no permanent health facilities in the community available to IDPs.
• In 134 (54%) assessed communities, IDPs reportedly had no access to a functioning main water network in the month prior to data collection. The most commonly reported source of drinking water for IDPs was water trucking, reported in 65% of assessed communities. In 55% of assessed communities, IDPs were reportedly modifying hygiene practices to cope with a lack of water.
• Despite the availability of formal schools in the majority of assessed communities, the estimated 330 thousand school-aged IDPs reportedly faced many barriers to accessing education. In 53% of assessed communities it was reported that some IDP parents could not afford to send their children to school.
• In 168 assessed communities, IDPs were reported to have, on average, less than 4 hours of electricity per day. In 75% of communities, generators were the most common sources of electricity used by IDPs.
• IDPs were reported to be affected by a range of protection risks. While KIs in almost a third of assessed communities reported that IDPs faced a threat of air strikes in the month prior to data collection, either travelling to or after arriving to their current location, KIs in 60% of assessed communities reported that some IDP children (aged 0 to 17 years) in the community were working.