Syrian Arab Republic: Cross-Border Humanitarian Reach and Activities from Turkey (September-2020)

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Conflict continues to affect civilians in northwest Syria. September saw the largest increase in shelling in the area since the 5th of March ceasefire agreement, while several airstrikes also occurred. Explosive hazards continued to place civilian lives in danger as population centres continued to be targeted with IEDs.

The vulnerability of the population, especially people living in IDP settlements, was further intensified by heatwaves, which induced widespread heat strokes as temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the month. Some 1.5 million people live in IDP sites, of whom some 22 percent – 336,000 individuals – are women and some 57 percent – 858,000 individuals – are children.

The dire situation and reliance on humanitarian assistance were compounded by continued volatility of the Syrian Pound (SYP), which fluctuated between 2,130 SYP/USD and 2,500 SYP/USD during September. This drove increasing unaffordability of essential goods and services, including two fuel price increases, and incentivised negative coping mechanisms exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions. The number of COVID-19 cases in northwest Syria increased more than thirteenfold during the month, rising from 80 to 1,072 cases between 1 and 30 September. Around a third of all confirmed cases were linked to health facilities, and transmission risks remained high through community exposure.

Driven mostly by economic incentives, the security situation and factors such as access to services, over 44,000 displacements were recorded in September. Departures mainly occurred from Idleb, Ehsem and Ariha sub-districts, while Afrin, Dana and Ariha sub-districts received the most arrivals. Nearly 7,000 spontaneous returns were reported over the same period, mainly to Ariha, Jisr-Ash-Shugur and Mhambal sub-districts

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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