Syria: Situation Report 4: Recent Developments in Northwestern Syria (as of 31 May 2019)
• Over the past week, airstrikes, shelling and ground fighting intensified across the demilitarized zone in northwest Syria, exacerbating the impact of the conflict on civilians, civilian infrastructure, and humanitarian service provision in northern Hama, southern Idleb, and western Aleppo governorates.
• Almost 270,000 displacements from northern Hama and southern Idleb governorates were recorded between 1 and 22 May.
• A total of 24 health facilities, 35 schools, four facilities providing protection services, three IDP settlements, and one refugee camp were reportedly affected by hostilities in recent weeks.
• Humanitarian response is ongoing with tens of thousands of people being provided food, protection, nutrition, health, shelter, education and WASH services, while considerable gaps across sectors remain.
• Provision of emergency response remains challenging, as numbers of displaced people continue to rise. A further escalation of violence, triggering waves of displacement, would overwhelm an already stretched response.
• Between 29 April and 29 May, reports indicate that an estimated 3,075 persons displaced to government-controlled areas through unofficial routes going to Latakia (750), Aleppo (2,050), and Tartous (275).
270,000 Recent displacements from 1 to 22 May
60,252 Individuals already assisted with NFIs
76,276 Individuals to be assisted in the coming weeks
103,751 Displacements to IDP sites and reception centres
203,592 Displacement outside IDP sites and reception centres (1 April to 22 May)
The toll of the conflict on people in northwest Syria continues to grow as violence in northern Hama, southern Idleb and western Aleppo governorates continues between Government of Syria (GoS) and allied forces and non-state armed groups (NSAGs). In less than three weeks, almost 270,000 displacements from northern Hama and southern Idleb were registered, bringing the total number of displacements from these areas to approximately 307,000 since the beginning of April 2019. The situation continues to evolve as the violence continues and people may choose to move.
About a third of these displacements were recorded at IDP sites and reception centers, whereas more than 200,000 displacements were recorded outside IDP sites. Dana in Idleb Governorate remains by far the subdistrict that received the largest number of IDPs with more than 173,000 displacements while Aleppo Governorate received about 28,000 displacements. At community level, Atma remains the largest recipient with some 80,000 displacements, followed by Qah with some 48,000 displacements. The pattern of displacement indicates that the recently displaced individuals have moved into areas with high numbers of existing IDPs, which is challenging already overstretched services inside and outside camps and creating the need for reinforcing humanitarian response in these areas. For those residents who remain in areas directly affected by the conflict in northern Hama and southern Idleb, safety and security concerns reportedly severely limit their ability to reach services such as health facilities and food markets, making the provision of humanitarian assistance in these areas all the more critical. Many humanitarian responders who provide food, nutrition, education, health, and humanitarian protection services to people have been forced to suspend activities in the conflict area, which damages the civilian population’s ability to cope at a time when needs are increasing.
On 22 May, the GoS announced that Morek-Souran crossing point will be opened to allow civilians leave NSAG-controlled areas. As of 31 May, crossings were not yet open1 .