Syrian Arab Republic: Cross-Border Humanitarian Reach and Activities from Turkey (January 2021)

Originally published
View original



In the month of January, shelling continued to impact communities in northwest Syria at a daily rate, mainly concentrated on frontline areas. Civilian casualties continued to be reported due to shelling and explosive hazards, including an increased number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) compared to previous weeks, centered around busy public spaces.

From mid to late January, floods and heavy rains affected many IDP sites across northwest Syria, which destroyed and damaged tents and caused access issues. More than 141,000 people were affected, and more than 25,000 tents damaged or destroyed. Unsafe sources of heating and cooking have also continued to cause fire incidents in IDP sites. Use of unsafe heating and cooking sources are also partly driven by the deteriorating economic situation as the Syrian Pound devalued by some 6 per cent in January and reached its weakest point since June 2020, making it even harder for people to meet basic needs. The total number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases decreased by some 80 per cent in the month of January compared to December, with the total number of associated deaths increasing by some 7 per cent. The Bab-Al Hawa border crossing continued to be closed to individual crossings every weekend in January in connection with the weekend lockdowns implemented across Turkey due to COVID-19 restrictions; humanitarian and commercial crossings continued unimpeded.

As of January, more than 2.7 million people were displaced in northwest Syria, of whom some 1.6 million live in IDP camps. HNAP reports that some 20,647 displacements were recorded in January, primarily from the Dana, A’zaz, Salqin, Aghtrin, Ariha and Maaret Tamsrin subdistricts, while the Maaret Tamsrin, Bulbul and A'zaz sub-districts received most new arrivals. Some 2,877 displaced people reportedly returned to their place of origin in northwest Syria in January, primarily to Ehsem in Idleb governorate, followed by Sarmin and Jisr-Ash-Shugur.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit