No airstrikes were reported in April, while low levels of sporadic shelling continued to take place, mainly concentrated in northern Hama, northern Lattakia, southern Idleb and western Aleppo governorates. As the ceasefire alleviated military hostilities, explosive hazards persisted in undermining the security situation in northwest Syria. Tens of people were killed injured in a single IED incident in Afrin town on 28 April, while many other IED and UXO incidents in April reportedly killed a number of people and injured many more.
Tensions involving non-state armed groups continued to affect civilian lives. Notably, attempts to open two commercial crossing points between Idleb and areas controlled by the Government of Syria on 18 and 30 April were suspended following strong civilian opposition, including protests that resulted in several civilian casualties due to small arms fire.
As of 24 April, some 846,000 of the people displaced since December 2019 remained in displacement, while an estimated 135,000 people moved back to areas from which they were displaced, mainly in Atareb and Daret Azza in western Aleppo governorate and Ariha, Sarmin, Ehsem, Jisr-Ash-Shugur and Mhambal in Idleb governorate.
No COVID-19 cases were identified in northwest Syria as of 30 April. Impacts of the pandemic this month were due to countermeasures against potential transmissions, with further suspensions and reduced operations of schools, businesses and services. Infection prevention and control (IPC) measures were in place at the Bab Al-Hawa and Bab Al-Salam border crossings, where individual crossings were suspended except for medical emergencies and humanitarian crossings were limited. Both crossings were reportedly open for humanitarian and commercial shipments, and 1,365 trucks of UN assistance were sent into northwest Syria in April.
Education cluster provided children and adolescents with regular self-learning materials and digital learning materials, provision/rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities in TLS/ schools, Rehabilitation of learning centers, incentives/allowances for teaching staff, non-formal education (NFE), professional development to teaching staff (active learning, self-learning, life skills), textbooks, life skills based trainings, basic education materials, psychological support and recreational activities, provision of fuel for heating in learning centers and teaching kits, develop & strengthen M&E capacities of education actors, early childhood education (ECE) / early childhood development (ECD) and awareness raising campaigns.
Early Recovery cluster: Since the beginning of the year (January to April 2020), Early Recovery partners reached 700,128 direct beneficiaries in 39 subdistricts and 71 communities. In particular, 670,905 directly benefitted from the rehabilitation of access to basic utilities (electricity, gas, water, sewage), 10,500 from entrepreneurial activities and 6,619 from short-term work opportunities provided. The remaining ER activities mainly focused on the vocational and skills training provided from which 5,092 directly benefitted and on regular employment accessed for 4,285 direct beneficiaries, 2,385 benefitted from support provided to rural enterprises and entrepreneurs . 76,654 HHs benefitted from rehabilitation of basic utilities (electricity, gas, water, sewage), 6,857 m3 solid and waste removed while 19 local public service providers were provided capacity and equipment support.
FSL cluster: In April 2020, a total of 1,510,495 beneficiaries were reached with food baskets (through in kind, cash or voucher); 488,040 beneficiaries reached with emergency food rations (RTEs [ready to eat rations], cooked meals and one-off food basket); 597,773 beneficiaries reached with mixed food items, 1,076,364 beneficiaries reached with bread/flour distribution. FSL Cluster reached In January to April 2020 412,474 beneficiaries with agriculture and livelihoods. In April 2020, a total of 1,510,495 beneficiaries were reached with food baskets (through in kind, cash or voucher); 488,040 beneficiaries reached with emergency food rations (RTEs [ready to eat rations], cooked meals and one-off food basket); 597,773 beneficiaries reached with mixed food items, 1,076,364 beneficiaries reached with bread/flour distribution.
Shelter cluster provided rental assistance, construction materials/tools, emergency shelter kits (e.g. tents) and emergency shelter; also rehabilitation of private housing and collective centers. Moreover, shelter cluster provided information/counselling on housing, land & property rights.
NFI cluster provided NFI kits (in-kind, cash, voucher) and training of stakeholders on resilience oriented NFI skills and capacities.
WASH cluster reached beneficiaries with water provision via existing networks, water trucking and private boreholes, household water treatments, maintenance/ cleanings of communal sewage, construction or rehabilitation of communal latrines and household, Solid waste management, hygiene kits distribution, hygiene promotion and vector control. Assitance was provided at the community, camp, collective center and school levels.
Nutrition cluster: Since the beginning of 2020, 24 Nutrition Cluster partners provided life-saving nutrition services covering 215 communities in 36 sub-districts. The delivery platforms were both static sites and 120 Rapid Response Teams (RRTs). Those reached included: treatment of 501 cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 1,693 cases of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) among children 6-59 months, and 2,396 cases of acutely malnourished pregnant and lactating women (PLW); 27,247 children 6-35 months received lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) for prevention of chronic and acute malnutrition; 11,688 displaced children 6-59 months and PLW received high-energy biscuits for prevention of acute malnutrition; 52,185 children 6-59 months and PLW received micronutrient supplements; 45,702 mothers and care givers were reached with messages and counselling on appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E).
Protection cluster provided awareness raising through campaigns and contact initiatives, case management, child protection and psychosocial support, including parenting programmes, develop community level referral pathways, legal assistance, material/cash assistance, outreach activities, psychosocial support, recreation and early childhood development kits, risk education, specialised child protection services, training of front line responders and humanitarian actors, women and girls accessing safe spaces and other socio-economic support.
The GBV Sub Cluster developed a guidance note on GBV Service Provision during the time of COVID-19 which aims to provide certain key points to be considered by the front-line GBV service providers for ensuring timely, dignified and safe GBV service provision in the time of COVID-19 with its heightened risks. The GBV SC in partnership with health cluster colleagues has organized two training sessions for 38 GBV partners inside Syria on how to communicate correct messaging about how to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 in ways they can understand. This reporting period has been characterized by persistence of child protection concerns in North West a, aggravated by COVID19 pandemic and its global crisis. Despite limitations in an increasingly restrictive operational environment, child protection partners delivered, while incorporating where possible COVID prevention messages and messages on childcare in times of isolation and unpredictability. Therefore, partners have continued providing child protection case management services, parenting programmes, PSS group activities and child protection recreational activities, in addition to child protection- related training, through online platforms.
CCCM cluster tracked 110,079 IDPs and has coordinated the provision of lifesaving multi-sectoral response to 1,365,550 IDPs in February 2020.
Health cluster reached 740,909 outpatient consultations; 11,665 people with referrals; supported 11,537 people with physical rehabilitation and supported 6,794 people with mental health consultations in April 2020.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.