Increased fighting leaves between 250,000 to 275,000 people in eastern Aleppo in urgent need of protection and humanitarian assistance
Civilians under constant threat of attack following upsurge in violence. Hundreds reportedly killed
Tens of thousands of people in eastern Aleppo without safe drinking water after pumping station hit
All access routes to east Aleppo are closed. Civilians unable to leave
Humanitarians continue to use remaining means inside eastern Aleppo to provide limited assistance to the affected population
Between 250,000 and 275,000 people in eastern Aleppo are in urgent need of protection and humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, health services, water and electricity, following an upsurge in violence on 19 September.
With the escalation of fighting in Aleppo, health partners have called for an immediate establishment of humanitarian routes to move sick and wounded from the eastern part of the city to medical facilities in other locations.
According to reports, over the weekend period of 17 September, hundreds of people were injured in the conflict violence. They were taken to understaffed health facilities in eastern Aleppo city, where exhausted staff struggled to cope and treat the affected. There are an estimated 35 doctors remaining inside eastern Aleppo city to treat an overwhelming number of wounded patients. Another doctor was killed on 17 September.
As of 29 September, all access routes to eastern Aleppo city remain closed; as such the civilian population have no route through which to move out of the city should they wish to do so. Since 7 July, hostilities in eastern Aleppo have intensified after Government of Syria (GoS) forces launched an attack on non-stated armed groups’ (NSAGs) locations in the north of the city. In the wake of these developments, civilian, commercial, and humanitarian movements into the east of the city through Castello Road have come to a standstill. In the beginning of August, NSAGs established a new supply route through the Ramouseh District, southwest of Aleppo City, but this route was retaken by GoS forces on 4 September.
Humanitarian partners have been unable to send supplies into eastern Aleppo since late August.
Since hostilities re-commenced earlier in the year, humanitarian actors have faced significant challenges in reaching vulnerable communities in the east of the city. In May and June, some intermittent deliveries were made through the Castello Road, while in early August, some humanitarian actors were able to send limited amounts of humanitarian aid through the Ramouseh Road, before it was again closed on 22 August.
The Cessation of Hostilities, which came into effect on 12 September, initially reduced the violence from conflict.
After one week the agreement collapsed and a heavy bombardment campaign began on eastern sectors of the city. Hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed, while civilian property and vital civilian infrastructure has been severely impacted.
On 22 September, the Bab Al-Nayrab water station was hit, affecting the exterior building of the control room, but not damaging the main pumps and engines, and created a heavier reliance on boreholes. An estimated quarter of a million people in the east are without safe drinking water. This leaves more than 100,000 children in danger of water-borne diseases, health partners warn.
On 23 September, three of the White Helmet centres were rendered out of service as a result of airstrikes. In addition to significant structural damage to the centres, the airstrikes wounded two civil White Helmet staff and destroyed several vehicles, including two ambulances.
On 24 September, multiple airstrikes in the Jisr Al-Haj area of eastern Aleppo City, reportedly damaged warehouses belonging to a humanitarian local organization. On the same day, airstrikes on Tareeq Al-Bab neighbourhood killed a doctor and his wife, who was also a midwife.
On 26 September, airstrikes struck a medical training centre adjacent to the Omar Bin Abd Al-Aziz Hospital in AlMa’adi neighbourhood. Two people were wounded and the centre sustained medium-level damage as a result of the attack. It is unclear at the moment whether the centre is functional.
On 28 September, the Al-Sakhour hospital was damaged by nearby airstrikes, and Omar Bin Abd Al-Aziz hospital were reportedly badly damaged by hostilities. Al-Sakhour hospital was hit by airstrikes which resulted in the destruction of windows, doors, and three generators, rendering the hospital out of service. Prior to this attack, on a monthly basis, Al-Sakhour hospital provides 2,815 consultations, 505 hospital admissions, 235 major surgeries and 580 trauma cases. Two civilian deaths were reported.
Damage at Omar Bin Abd Al-Aziz hospital is being assessed. The facility provides 2,867 consultations, 147 hospital admissions, 96 deliveries, 64 major surgeries and 262 trauma cases.
Living conditions of the 250,000 – 275,000 residents of eastern Aleppo continues to deteriorate. According to the World Food Programme, the intensification of conflict and the restrictions on humanitarian access continue to affect the food security situation in Aleppo City. More than 45 percent of respondent households reported having an inadequate food consumption in August, while less than 30 percent of households reported this in other accessible areas of Syria. A greater number of households are engaging more frequently in negative food-related coping mechanisms than in June, with an increase in 20 per cent of the number.
Meanwhile, civilians wishing to travel in and out of eastern Aleppo city are unable to do so due to GoS military presence on entry and exit points. Safe passage points, which were introduced few months ago, are not being used by civilians due to security concerns and fear of being detained.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.