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Syria Crisis Response: COVID-19 Situation Update Syria, Jordan, & Turkey - Situation Report No.4 | July 2020

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Situation Update

The Ministry of Health (MoH) reported 608 COVID-19 confirmed cases as of 24 July with 35 fatalities and 184 recovered. 44 of the total cases are reported to be healthcare workers.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in Government of Syria (GoS) areas has overwhelmed the capacity of local hospitals.

On 9 July, The first confirmed case of COVID-19, which belonged to a health professional, was announced in northern Syria. As of 28 July, 30 people with COVID-19 have been identified in northwest Syria and a spike in numbers is feared between the seventh and eighth week from the first discovery.

Gaps and constrains in the country include, inadequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the need to enhance laboratory and case investigations, and safe guarding of public health; preventing cross infections within and out of health facilities.

In June, approximately 2,985 students crossed into government-controlled areas to sit their high school certificate and were accommodated in 25 centres located in six governorates.

The Socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, notably in food security and livelihoods, are likely to exacerbate existing substantial humanitarian needs across the country. On 17 June, the U.S. Caesar sanctions went into effect and throughout the month the informal SYP/USD exchange rate has experienced extreme volatility, at one point rising to the highest rate on record – approximately SYP 3,200 to $USD 1 on 8 June. The cost of the survival minimum expenditure basket (SMEB) has increased by 68 percent.

Over 80% of Syrians already live under the poverty line, and further drops in the value of the pound will impact millions of people’s purchasing power and access to even basic commodities.

Immediate gaps for 143,000 internally displaced persons in northwest Syria are as follows: water trucking, recurrent solid waste management, and public latrines rehabilitation/construction. Adding up, 171,520 people need hygiene kits. The collapse of the Syrian Pound is resulting in activities’ suspension, notably with existing water trucking contracts becoming nonviable.

The 4th Brussels Conference, hosted by the EU and the UN, ended with the announcement of pledges totalling US$ 5.5 billion (€4.9 billion) for 2020, and multi-year pledges of close to US$ 2.2 billon (€2 billion) for 2021 and beyond.

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2533 on 11 July, which authorises UN cross-border assistance through Bab Al-Hawa only for 12 months. As a result, the UN can no longer utilise the Bab Al-Salam border crossing