Syria: Flash update on recent events - 19 December 2016

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 19 Dec 2016

19 December 2016

This update provides a summary of recent displacement, along with developments from the UNHCR co-led Sector/Clusters of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Shelter/Non Food Items (SNFI) and Protection.

KEY DISPLACEMENT STATISTICS

  • 464,767 people displaced in affected areas of Aleppo (271,691), Hama (91,645), Idleb (76,005), Ar-Raqqa (15,394), Homs (7,346), Deir Ez-Zor (1,413), Lattakia (1,273) governorates, northern Syria, due to fighting since 1 February 2016 (figures as of 30 November). This represents an overall increase of 30,475 people since 22 November, with the large majority of newly displaced from Aleppo Governorate and a smaller increase from Ar-Raqqa Governorate. This does not include the latest displacement from eastern to western Aleppo city.

  • 7,966 people displaced in affected areas of Rural Damascus, south-western Syria, due to fighting since August 2016 (figures as of 22 November).

  • 69,582 people displaced in affected areas of Al-Hasakeh Governorate, north-eastern Syria, due to fighting since September 2016 (figures as of 12 December).

Aleppo city

  • From 16-19 December, over 10,300 people have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo to opposition-held areas of rural Aleppo Governorate and Idleb Governorate, according to information triangulated by the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster. In addition, since 28 November to 15 December, nearly 40,000 people have been displaced from opposition-controlled eastern Aleppo to government-controlled areas.

  • The UN does not have an estimate of how many people still remain in the besieged area of eastern Aleppo city, but believes it is in the tens of thousands.

CONTEXTUAL DEVELOPMENTS

  • Today (19 December), the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed resolution 2328 requesting for UN officials and others to be able to monitor evacuations from eastern Aleppo and the safety of civilians who remain in Aleppo city. The resolution "demands all parties to provide these monitors with safe, immediate and unimpeded access."

  • An operation to bring thousands of people out of the last opposition-held area of eastern Aleppo city is again underway after being suspended on 16 December. Movements are ongoing and the number may continue to rise. Evacuees were transported by bus to a checkpoint on the western outskirts of the city, where an NGO is offering transportation to opposition-held areas of Idleb and rural Aleppo governorates. Many evacuees move on independently using private vehicles once they are out of eastern Aleppo and their destinations are therefore more difficult to track.

  • UN agencies and NGOs based out of Gaziantep, Turkey, have prepositioned supplies in Idleb Governorate and are ready to provide assistance to those in need who were evacuated from eastern Aleppo city.

  • Alongside the evacuation from Aleppo city, a reciprocal evacuation from Foah and Kefraya (two towns in Idleb Governorate under siege by armed opposition groups) is underway. On 19 December, there are reportedly 700 people on the move from Foah and Kefraya.