Syria: Droughts - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRSY006


This DREF has been triggered by the result of assessments Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) has gone through during the last week of September in several high-risk areas affected by the ongoing droughts:
Further to the ongoing severe drought situation in Syria, SARC has been assessing and monitoring the situation in different areas of Syria. Unfortunately, the negative impact keeps deteriorating causing more vulnerability.
Based on this, SARC has decided to initiate a specific response to the drought situation and is seeking IFRC support in this regard using the DREF support as a start noting that SARC is also coordinating with other partners to ensure a scale response. The number of people that are food insecure and in acute need of humanitarian assistance increased by 400,000 during the first half of 2021 bringing the total number to 12.8 million people, an increase of more than 60% compared to 20211 . According to the FAO, Syrian farmers face challenges preparing for the upcoming planting season due to lack of liquidity and access to credit, while prices of inputs such as fertilizers and fuel are increasing. Furthermore, access to seeds will likely be difficult and seed quality poor with low germination rates due to the drastically reduced 2020/2021 harvest. This impacts in particular small-scale farmers that lack alternative livelihoods income sources and continue to cultivate their lands.

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since January 2021, Syria has witnessed unprecedented low water levels of the Euphrates River, falling from 500m3 to 214 m3 in June, resulting in two of the most significant reservoirs in Syria having significantly diminished and 54 out of 73 water stations severely impacted (OCHA, 2021) in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Al-Hasakeh, and Ar-Raqqa governorates. Low levels of water in reservoirs resulted in reduced energy production capacity causing power blackouts across north-eastern Syria, with only 1-2 hours of electricity in some locations and up to three million people have been affected by reduced electricity generation and availability. Compounded by ongoing fuel shortages, water pumping stations have limited functionality, affecting safe access to and availability of drinking water of the population in north-eastern Syria