Syria

Syria & the Surrounding Countries - ETC Situation Report #41 (Reporting Period: 01/04/2020 to 31/05/2020)

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Highlights

• The ETC Coordinator in Syria continues to respond to COVID-19 in his role as Head of WFP IT and to support the inter-agency COVID-19 Crisis Committee with connectivity services.

• The ETC has completed the installation of a fibre link that will significantly improve connectivity services at the UN hub in Aleppo.

• In early May, the ETC in Syria received all the new security telecommunications radio equipment required to complete the radio infrastructure migration in country. This will improve access to security communications services for humanitarians responding to the crisis in Syria.

ETC Activities

• There are 122 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Syria, although this is likely to be an underestimate.
Movement restrictions and a curfew which came into effect on 30 March was lifted by the authorities on 26 May. The curfew may be reinstated depending on how the situation develops.

• Since 16 March, most UN staff – including the ETC – continue to work from home.

• The ETC Coordinator in Syria continues to respond to COVID-19 in his role as Head of WFP IT and to support the inter-agency COVID-19 Crisis Committee with connectivity services. On 2 April, the Committee issued a decision to support the government with the set up of four COVID-19 crisis operation centres in Damascus. The ETC is ready to support implementation, once approval from the authorities is received.

• The COVID-19 Crisis Committee has also recommended the ETC upgrade connectivity services in all UN hubs to facilitate the response to COVID-19. Restrictions caused by the response to COVID-19 have so far prevented this activity from taking place.

• The ETC has completed installation of a fibre link that will significantly improve connectivity services at the UN hub in Aleppo. The next step is to proceed with the link activation. This activity is part of an ongoing process since mid-2019 and had been delayed due to movement restrictions caused by COVID-19.

• On 2 May, the ETC in Syria received all the new security telecommunications radio equipment required to complete the radio infrastructure migration in country. In coordination with other UN agencies, the next step is to request the necessary government approvals and then plan the deployment of the equipment to various cities across the country. This activity will improve access to security communications services for humanitarians responding to the crisis in Syria.