In April, daily artillery shelling continued to impact communities across northwest Syria, especially around the M4 and M5 highways in the southern and eastern Idleb area. Civilian casualties continued to be reported, as many civilians were killed and injured by shelling, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Following months of devaluation, particularly in March, the value of the Syrian Pound (SYP) against the US Dollar rebounded slightly in April – returning to rates seen in early February. As the mainstreaming of the Turkish Lira (TRY) in markets across northwest Syria becomes more common, the volatility of both the TRY and the SYP continues to affect the prices of goods and services, making it difficult for people to meet their basic needs. While the overall number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases remained low in April, the two sub-districts of Harim and Afrin reported an increase in new cases, raising concerns for a potential spike in the coming weeks. The first delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine to northwest Syria was made on 22 April, as the preparations for the roll-out of vaccination campaign were ongoing through the end of the month. In April, the Bab-Al Hawa border crossing reinstated COVID-19 related weekend restrictions for individual crossings, in line with COVID-19 measures applied in Turkey, which was followed by a full lockdown beginning on 29 April. Humanitarian and commercial crossings were able to proceed unimpeded, though further restrictions were also placed on medical crossings during the full lockdown.
As of April, more than 2.7 million people were displaced in northwest Syria, of whom some 1.6 million remain in IDP camps. CCCM reports that some 27,000 displacements were recorded in April, primarily from the Afrin, Idleb and Dana subdistricts, while the Afrin, Bulbul and Raju sub-districts received most new arrivals. Some 6,441 displaced people reportedly returned to their places of origin in northwest Syria, mainly arriving to the Ehsem, Mhambal and Ariha sub-districts in Idleb governorate.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.