Produced by UNHCR-Syria Reporting Unit on behalf of the Syria Emergency Shelter Sector
Protraction and continued vitality of the Syrian crisis have increasingly forced large groups to experience displacement, and for some multiple displacements. As a consequence, not only the displaced are directly affected, but also host and host communities. Through five years of the crisis, shelter response in Syria has been developed collectively within the Sector, and has evolved from the distribution of shelter materials as part of the CRI package, to improvements of collective shelters, into upgrading of unfinished private buildings in various stages of completion (private shelter upgrade).
For 2016, the Sector increasingly focuses on more durable solutions, without compromising on contingency planning and emergency response through tents and kits. More sustainability is foreseen through supporting owners and tenants to rehabilitate their premises to minimal livable conditions. This approach will target the houses with minor damages, in places of beneficiaries’ origin. This approach besides responding to families’ shelter needs, is intended to address neighborhoods/ communities through assisting in restoring main services and utilities making neighborhoods function again.
As per the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan, the current number of internally displaced is estimated at 6.5 Million, and people in need for shelter support at 2.4 Million, with Shelter Sector targeting 320,213 beneficiaries. Throughout the preparation of 2016 response plan, to shift from opportunity-driven assistance to IDPs as evident needs-group, to more targeted vulnerability-driven response to clearly identified needs groups was one main objective.
The shelter response in Syria aims to design and implement adequate shelter solutions to various groups of beneficiaries by:
• Responding to emergencies, providing life-saving, life-sustaining support,
• Providing more durable, resilience oriented assistance in areas of displacement as well as areas of origin through legal owner and community - based approaches
Shelter response within Syria aligns with three strategic objectives of the Whole of Syria (WoS) Humanitarian Response Plan.
Sector Objective 1: Provide life-sustaining and life-saving shelter support. This objective captures all emergency shelter response options focusing on survival of beneficiaries.
Sector Objective 2: Promote security of tenure. This objective aims to promote, to the extent possible, assistance to documentation of ownership / right of tenure for specific beneficiary groups. It is closely linked to objectives of the Protection Sector, and complementary to its activities.
Sector Objective 3: Contribute towards resilience and cohesion of communities and households by improving housing and community/public infrastructure. This objective captures assistance to owners, resp. legal tenants of houses / buildings within a defined neighbourhood / area, hence in their community embedment. It also comprises, as a complementary element for assistance to families, support of the respective communities through infrastructure rehabilitation activities aligned with shelter support.
Key elements for adequacy, timeliness and effectiveness of Syrian shelter response are to
• Maintain the principle of strategizing and planning of shelter response on national level, based on sub-national assessments and input,
• Decentralize operational response through establishment and operationalization of local SWGs in agencies’ field office locations, reporting to central sector coordination,
• Simplify procedural requirements and administrative procedures while still ensuring full accountability.
This constitutes responsibilities for the Sector to deliver a range of quality-focused shelter solutions, to ensure sufficient scale of shelter response, and to constantly contribute to simplification of processes and procedures, while adhering to collectively adopted workflows and operating procedures.