Syria + 2 more

Syria Crisis Bi-Weekly Situation Report No.15 (as of 17 October 2016) [EN/AR]

Attachments

Highlights

  • Humanitarian situation in eastern Aleppo continues to deteriorate

  • Medical care for civilians in eastern Aleppo a major priority

  • Attacks on hospitals and other civilian infrastructure continue across Syria

  • Access to water and electricity marginally improved in Aleppo

  • Airstrikes continue in eastern Aleppo, while mortars hit the west of the city

  • Discussions ongoing to resume aid delivery to Al Rukban settlement

  • Major protection concerns across Syria for all groups of civilians

Situation Overview

A surge in violence in Aleppo City has further exacerbated the humanitarian situation, as more civilians were killed and more infrastructure was adversely affected, in particular in eastern Aleppo City. All access routes to besieged eastern Aleppo remain closed, preventing freedom of movement for civilians since 7 July, and for aid to reach the civilian populations in this part of the city.

The UN and its partners continue to call on all parties to the conflict to enable safe and sustained access to provide urgently needed assistance to the besieged population as soon as conditions allow. On 14 October, the representative in Syria of the UN’s Children Fund (UNICEF), Hanaa Singer, called on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and stop attacks on civilian infrastructure, including schools and education facilities in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law. In Aleppo City, daily indiscriminate attacks on populated areas kill and injure scores of children, Singer highlighted. On 15 October, four international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) called for a ceasefire of at least 72 hours in eastern Aleppo City as a first priority to allow for evacuations, and for food and medical aid to enter the besieged area.

Except for the northern neighbourhood of Sheikh Maqsoud having a secured access route to western Aleppo City, no official routes allow access into or out of eastern Aleppo City. Given this severe disruption of supply streams, markets and food supplies are heavily impacted and obtaining food remains a daily challenge for civilians. The increasing demand for food and its limited availability results in inflated prices.

Since August 2016, the price of bread alone in eastern Aleppo City has jumped by 38 per cent, while dairy products and vegetables are mostly unavailable. The bread output in eastern Aleppo City was further reduced by 40 per cent, following an airstrike on one of the two remaining operational mills and wheat stocks near the Qaterji neighbourhood on 12 October. On the same day, a market in the Al-Ferdous neighbourhood was hit by airstrikes, killing at least 10 people. Bread is now four and six times more expensive than in western Aleppo City and Damascus, respectively.

Between March and September 2016, diesel prices have risen by nearly 30 per cent and prices for a container of butane gas by over 50 per cent in eastern Aleppo City, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Reportedly, the black market price for diesel now stands at US$ 2.2 per litre (SYP 1,200 equivalent). This increase in fuel prices and the foreseen increasing demand during winter months are projected to further disrupt the operations of bakeries and increasingly push food prices higher, WFP predicts. Restrictions on civilian and commercial movement heavily impede the replenishing of stocks all across Syria. Markets in Madaya and eastern Ghouta are sporadically working with limited or poor capacity, sometimes at very high prices.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.