SITUATION AT A GLANCE
11.1 MILLION Estimated Population in Need of Humanitarian Assistance in Syria UN – Apr. 2020
9.3 MILLION Estimated Food-Insecure Population in Syria UN – Apr. 2020
6.6 MILLION Estimated Number of IDPs in Syria UN – Aug. 2020
4.8 MILLION Estimated People USAID/BHA Reaches per Month in Syria UN – Aug. 2020
2.2 MILLION Estimated People State/PRM Reaches per Month in Syria UN – Aug. 2020
Health actors record a more than threefold increase in confirmed COVID19 cases across Syria during August, including among vulnerable displaced populations in northern Syria.
UN agencies experience challenges delivering cross-border shipments to areas of northwest Syria following UN Security Council Resolution 2533 and the loss of the Bab al-Salama border crossing.
USAID/BHA and State/PRM partners continue to provide life-saving food, health, nutrition, protection, shelter, and WASH assistance in Syria and for Syrians in neighboring countries.
Health Actors Track Rising COVID-19 Cases Across Syria
During August, health actors recorded a more than threefold increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases across Syria, rising to more than 4,300 cases countrywide as of September 11. Health actors continue to report that the majority of cases are in Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG)-held areas, where the SARG Ministry of Health (MoH) has confirmed 3,351 cases—including 143 resultant deaths—as of September 9. Damascus, Latakia, Rif Damascus, and SARG-held areas of Aleppo governorates are among the most affected, although the MoH has reported cases widely across SARG-held territory. Humanitarian agencies and international media continue to report the actual number of cases in SARGheld areas is likely much higher than official estimates.
Additionally, as of September 11, health actors had confirmed 170 COVID-19 cases and three related deaths in opposition-held areas of Aleppo and Idlib governorates, following the northwest region’s first reported case on July 9, according to the Early Warning, Alert, and Response Network—a disease surveillance system comprising local health authorities, the UN World Health Organization (WHO), and other health stakeholders. As of September 10, the Self Administration of Northeast Syria had confirmed 783 cases in northeast Syria’s Aleppo, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Ar Raqqah governorates, including 42 deaths. Health agencies also continue to respond to potential transmission in Al Hasakah’s Al Hol camp, where several medical staff and one camp resident had tested positive for COVID-19 as of early September. The camp hosts nearly 65,000 people, more than 50 percent of whom are children younger than 12 years of age.
Health actors remain particularly concerned by the spread of COVID-19 in northern Syria due to the weak health care system and large internally displaced person (IDP) population residing in congested camps with poor water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions and limited access to health care services. The continued increase in cases, particularly those with unknown or untraceable exposure, represents potential widespread community transmission across the country, the UN reports. The UN and other relief actors report that a continued lack of adequate COVID-19 testing and response capacity, as well as a widespread easing of COVID-19 preventative measures, could exacerbate transmission countrywide