Syria mVAM Bulletin #64: February 2022


Situation Overview

• The Government’s decision to revise eligibility criteria for subsidized commodities and remove around 600,000 beneficiaries from subsidy programmes sparked an escalation of protests in As-Sweida Governorate.

• On 5 February, a protest of volunteer teachers prompted the closure of more than 80 schools in Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS ) controlled areas in Idleb and Hama.

• On 8 February, media sources reported that security guards at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria opened fire on residents after women residents attacked them with rocks and knives. A 10-year-old child was killed in the shooting, and several women and children were wounded. During the same month, media sources reported that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had started issuing identification cards for foreign women with perceived Islamic State (IS) affiliation residing in this camp. The reasons behind such a move are yet to be understood if at all true, though initial indications seem to point towards the facilitation of repatriation process. The ID programme does not currently include the Iraqi and Syrian nationals (85 percent) residents of the camp.

• On 14 February, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported complaints of drinking water polluted with diesel from leaking agricultural machinery in the village of Assadiya in Ar-Raqqa governorate. Syria has up to 40 percent less drinking water than it did in 2010 due to conflict-related destruction of water and sanitation systems, leaving many people dependent on costly and often unreliable water trucking services. Notably, irrigation with untreated wastewater can introduce toxic elements that damage crops and topsoil, while livestock can fall seriously ill and die because of drinking oil-contaminated water.

• On 21 February, the Syrian Telecommunication and Postal Regulatory Authority officially activated the license of a third mobile operator in Governmentcontrolled areas, Wafa Telecom. Set to launch operations in November 2022, Wafa will target areas with poor coverage and provide a discount of up to 50 percent until it reaches three million subscribers. Wafa will also have an exclusive license to operate a fifth generation (5G) mobile network in the country.

• In February 2022, WFP reached some 5.5 million beneficiaries with in-kind food or cash-based transfers (CBT) thr