DAMASCUS, 7 October 2020 – The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released US $40 million from the Syria Humanitarian Fund (SHF), its largest ever allocation, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, announced today. This record release of SHF funds will enable life-saving assistance to reach 1.3 million people across Syria, including support to families in under-served areas where humanitarian needs are particularly acute and worsening under the added strain of COVID-19.
“The devastating impacts of COVID-19 and recent economic deterioration have compounded deep and widespread humanitarian needs across Syria,” said Mr. Riza. “Many families, already reeling from ten years of crisis, have been pushed to the brink. This $40 million allocation from the Syria Humanitarian Fund – our largest to date – will be critical to assist vulnerable communities, many who would otherwise have limited humanitarian support. It will bolster healthcare systems, augment food security and livelihood opportunities, and enhance important protection services.” OCHA has already commenced disbursement of funds, with NGOs to receive 61 per cent, including 19 national NGOs ($8.7 million) and 21 international NGOs ($15.5 million). This SHF allocation also has the broadest reach to date, supporting 62 projects across 93 sub-districts, including in areas of acute need in Rural Damascus, rural Aleppo, Homs, Dar’a, Hama, rural Lattakia, Ar-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor, some of which will benefit from SHF-supported projects for the first time.
Of note, in recognition of the worsening socio-economic situation in the country, nearly $15 million will support delivery of food vouchers, food baskets, and livelihood opportunities for farmers in rural areas. In addition, $7.6 million of the current allocation will boost healthcare services, $4 million will support students to return safely to school, and $4 million will provide essential protection, including to improve survivor access to quality gender-based violence response services.
Intersos, one of the INGO partners, will utilize the SHF funds to reach an estimated 60,000 people with mobile health clinics in Hama and Rural Damascus, where communities would otherwise have limited access to primary health care. “With clinics and healthcare centers in these areas destroyed, and many families unable to pay for transport, our mobile health clinics fill a critical gap in primary health care,” said Marion Cassiat, Programme Manager at Intersos. “The quick disbursement of the SHF funds enables us to get urgent support to communities who need our support now.”
Since its creation in 2014, the SHF has supported 65 humanitarian organizations in Syria, operating within the parameters of the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan to meet the most critical needs and to support an effective and coordinated humanitarian response. In 2020 so far, thanks to the generosity of its donors, the SHF has committed funding to projects worth $67.5 million.
About the Syria Humanitarian Fund
Led by the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator supported by the Advisory Board, the SHF supports the delivery of strategic humanitarian response while retaining the flexibility to allocate funds to unforeseen events or special requirements. It is generously supported by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit: https:// https://www.unocha.org/syrian-arab-republic/about-syria-hf
For further information: Danielle Moylan, Spokesperson OCHA Syria, firstname.lastname@example.org +961 81771 978
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.