Protection Cluster members provided emergency response services for civilians that were recently displaced due to an uptake in hostilities in northern Syria. Ten Cluster members provided 18,770 interventions to IDPs and affected host community members, in 58 communities within 22 sub-districts in Idleb and Aleppo, reaching 12,222 individuals (3,583 girls, 3,075 boys, 3,943 women, and 1,621 men). The main services protection actors provided are as follows: psychological first aid (PFA) for 465 girls, 420 boys, 728 women, and 343 men; psychosocial support (PSS) for 2,720 girls, 2,415 boys, 1,369 women, and 788 men; dignity kit distribution for 170 girls and 1,371 women; and risk education (RE) for 886 girls, 751 boys, 725 women, and 542 men. Cluster members also provided child protection and GBV case management, referrals to specialized services, and legal assistance/ counselling.
7 PMTF members conducted 114KI interviews in 33 communities covering 11 sub-districts, 7 districts and 2 governorates (Aleppo and Idleb).
The GBV SC finalized the guidance note on “Ethical Closure of GBV Programmes,” a tool to support GBV actors in the development of their closure plans, including, considerations on do no harm for GBV survivors supported with case management and women and girls attending WGSSs, duty of care, data protection and communication. As the co-lead of the Gender Focal Point Network, the GBV SC supported the roll out of the new IASC Gender with Age Marker with eight half-day trainings targeting members of all Clusters and reaching 117 people. Additionally, the GBV SC and SNFI Cluster conducted a two-day training on GBV risk mitigation for SNFI actors (10 participants from 9 organizations). The GBV SC also supported one of its members in the organization of a four-day Clinical Management of Rape training for midwives in Syria (A’zaz) with 18 participants from 5 organizations.
The Child Protection Sub-Cluster together with INGOs and the WoS Child Protection Coordinator have continued to engage with partners on strengthening interventions around children with disabilities, Family Tracing and Reunification, including alternative care for the increasing caseloads of cross-line and cross-border challenges for unaccompanied and separated children.
The Mine Action Sub Cluster continue to work on increasing the risk education (RE) capacity in the Northwest. Multiple training of trainers were conducted in Idelb to support local mine action partners to increase their capacity and number of risk education teams. In addition, these trainings were provided to members of different clusters that are planning to add RE teams in their existing programming. Three ToT for Explosive Hazards Awareness for Humanitarian Workers were also provided in the month of September to 58 focal points who will be able to provide the training to humanitarian workers.
Limited specialized services or inclusive services for groups with specific needs, e.g. persons with disabilities or older persons, remains a critical gap for Protection Cluster. Afrin and other areas in Euphrates Shield remain critically underserved in terms of GBV specialized services, GBV prevention activities and Women and Girls Safe Spaces due to operational and access constraints. All humanitarian sectors are responsible for ensuring GBV mainstreaming in their programming throughout the programme cycle; even though a number of steps have been taken to improve referral of GBV survivors for multi-sectoral support, the investment in GBV risk mitigation in other sectors is still limited and non-consistent across sectors.
Alternative Care for children is still confused with orphan support and the so-called Kafalah programs. The CP Sub-Cluster is seeking approaches to make such non-standard activities and standard child protection activities complement each other. There is increased focus on emerging child protection risks due to the negative coping mechanism of caregivers to poverty prevalence among IDPs. Case management now includes children in exploitative child labor, trafficking, forced marriage and inter-personal violence.
Victim Assistance remains severely underfunded in Syria. The high level of contamination and presence of explosive hazards, as reported in 43 % percent of communities in Idleb and Aleppo governorate, threatens civilians and humanitarian operators with debilitating injuries and death, contributing to the instability of vulnerable communities. The high level of unexploded ordinance contamination and the constant increase of victims of explosive hazards increase the need to provide victim assistance and mine risk education to promote saver behaviors to reduce chances of injuries.