Strengthening Humanitarian Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Report
from REACH Initiative
Published on 25 Mar 2013 View Original

Since October 2012, dedicated REACH teams are working on strengthening the response to the Syrian refugee crisis. They are assessing trends and needs of displaced Syrians, thus ensuing better planning and implementation of humanitarian aid.

The situation in Syria has been continuously deteriorating since the onset of the Syrian crisis in early 2011. With two million people internally displaced and at least one million more seeking shelter in neighbouring countries, the whole region is currently witnessing a major humanitarian crisis. As the host-countries’ capacities to cater for the refugees are more and more stretched, secondary waves of displacement are taking place, changing the nature of accommodation and putting refugees and host communities at new risks. This development makes it increasingly difficult to keep an overview of the distribution and needs of refugees and hosting communities. Accordingly, one of the major obstacles to an effective humanitarian response is the lack of reliable data on needs and whereabouts of the people affected by the Syrian crisis.

To bridge this gap in information, the REACH partners ACTED, IMPACT Initiatives and UNOSAT, supported by UNHCR and UNICEF, have started mapping displacement patterns and needs in Jordan and Iraq. The aim of the REACH assessment is to profile the nature of displacement by identifying groups of refugees that understand themselves as a community. Based on these communities, socio-economic data is being collected to assess the refugees’ vulnerability. To increase detail and keep the assessment updated, the community level analysis is step-by-step complemented by individual and household data and is updated on a regular basis. As all information is referenced with geographic data, the maps and data provided by REACH allow humanitarian actors to better understand and adapt to the actual situation on the ground