Syria

Syria: Flash update on recent events - 20 December 2017

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

KEY DISPLACEMENT STATISTICS (AS OF 12 DECEMBER 2017)

 1,221,863 displacements recorded by the CCCM Cluster in the last 12 months from affected areas of northern and southern Syria: o 1,191,079 displacements from affected areas of northern Syria, including Ar-Raqqa (320,019), Aleppo (265,291), Deir-Ez-Zor (241,329), Hama (212,672), Idleb (99,879), Homs (36,581), AlHassakeh (13,727), Lattakia (1,581) governorates, northern Syria. This includes around 93,200 displacements recorded in November 2017, and around 11,500 new displacements recorded so far in December 2017, the majority from Hama Governorate. o 30,784 displacements from affected areas of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Sweida and Dar’a, southwestern Syria.

CONTEXTUAL DEVELOPMENTS

 Yesterday (19 December), the Security Council renewed the authorization for cross-border and cross-line humanitarian access to Syria for a further 12 months, until 10 January 2019. Adopting resolution 2393 (2017) by a vote of 12 in favour and with three abstentions (Bolivia, China, Russian Federation), the Council extended the authorization – first established by resolution 2165 (2014) – for humanitarian agencies to use four border crossings: two with Turkey, one with Jordan, and one with Iraq.

 Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria. He stressed that the situation for 400,000 Syrians besieged in eastern Ghouta (near Damascus) remains unbearable, with intensive air and ground-based strikes reported nearly daily since mid-November.
About 500 people are waiting to be evacuated for life-saving medical care.

 The situation for civilians in Ar-Raqqa city and surrounding areas continues to be concerning, with reports of explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices resulting in civilian casualties daily.

 IDPs from Ar-Raqqa and Deir-Ez-Zor governorates continue to be accommodated in a number of camps in north-east Syria. However, the average daily arrival for Areesheh, Mabrouka and Ain Issa camps decreased significantly during the past weeks.