Syria

Syrian Arab Republic: Dara’a Flash Update 2, Hostilities in Dara’a Governorate (As of 12 August 2021)

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Situation Report
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This report is produced by OCHA Syria in collaboration with humanitarian partners

SITUATION OVERVIEW

• The situation in Dara’a city remains fluid with artillery shelling and ground clashes reportedly ongoing in and around Dara’a al-Balad as of 11 August.

• To date, SARC have registered 33,540 people (6,446 households) displaced in Dara’a city and surrounding areas, the majority are women and children (31,076). Most IDPs are being hosted by relatives and friends in local communities in Dara’a city, however, around 1,500 IDPs are being accommodated in six collective shelters in Dara’a city, with a seventh recently identified to ease overcrowding.

• Currently, it is estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 families remain in Dara’a Al-Balad. Since 5 August Saraya crossing point has been closed to vehicles, although reports on 10 August indicated that women and children under 15 were able to leave via Saraya on foot. Sijneh road also remains closed for all types of movements. On 4 August,
Jordan authorities opened Jaber-Nassib border crossing to commercial traffic following one week of closure.

HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSE

Reports indicate that the humanitarian situation inside Dara’a al-Balad is increasingly precarious with critical shortages of electricity, fuel, bread due to ongoing insecurity; this has also delayed wheat flour deliveries to al-Balad and Tishreen bakeries. Al-Balad bakery is functioning but at sub-optimal levels and relying on flour stocks provided by the local community.

Partners have conducted a rapid assessment to understand the needs and living conditions in the collective shelters. Initial results indicate overcrowded conditions with some families sharing living spaces with limited sanitation faclities which raises protection, health and hygiene related risks. The assessment also found presence of vectors including rats, snakes and mosquitos.

Following immediate assistance that was provided, humanitarian partners are taking a three-fold approach to respond the needs: (i) assist IDPs and host communities in Dara’a city and surrounding areas; (ii) respond to the needs of populations remaining in Dara’a al-Balad, (iii) advocate for access to all of Dara’a governorate in August and September to enable humanitarian partners to implement planned programmes.

UNHCR, SARC in collaboration with other partners are distributing about 6,500 NFI kits for displaced families and are pre-positioning more stocks within Dara’a to cater for any additional needs that may arise. Over 1,200 shelter kits will be pre-positioned and ready for distribution within Dara’a governorate once assessment is completed. Partners have also undertaken upgrades and repairs of lighting and electrical networks, sewerage systems, installed water tanks and bathing facilities, provided garbage containers and disinfection materials.

As of 6 August, WFP has delivered 1,500 ready-to-eat (RTE) packages in Dar’a city – enough for 7,500 people; an additional 5,160 packages of RTEs for about 25,800 people are ready to be dispatched. With support from WFP and other partners, SARC is distributing immediate food assistance to IDPs in collective shelters and host communities.

UNICEF in collaboration with Dara’a Health Authority, and partners Al-Bir and SFPA are providing nutrition services at the collective centres and host communities through health facilities and mobile medical teams. UNICEF finalized procurement of health and WASH related supplies including 4,000 family hygiene kits, four acute watery diarrhea kits, 100 pediatric kits, 32,000 baby diapers, 8,000 sanitary napkins, and chlorine tablets which will be delivered in the coming week and have supported partners to undertake 82 medical consultations and 21 surgeries.

SARC has deployed an ambulance to facilitate the referral of critical medical cases and has set up mobile clinics supporting about 900 people and providing nutrition services to over 1,300 people. SARC has also provided first aid to more than 270 people, treated 140 causalities, transferred 124 people to hospitals and medically evacuated nine people to Damascus. In addition, a SARC team is also deployed at the Saraya crossing point. Nour Foundation in collaboration with WHO will provide medical services through a mobile team in Dar’a targeting displaced families living in two collective shelters, Al Nitaqin school and Musa Ibn alNusair mosque.

Between 3 and 9 August, Al-Bir and SFPA mobile teams screened 147 children under the age of 5 years and 54 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) for malnutrition; 91 cases of severe acute malnutrition and 47 cases of moderate acute malnutrition were identified among children under the age of five while seven cases of MAM were identified among PLW. All identified cases of malnutrition are being treated and have also been provided with fortified foods in addition to other preventive and curative nutrition services. Assorted nutrition supplies including high-energy biscuits, micronutrient powder, iron and folic acid to support 1,900 children and 1,100 PLW have been delivered. Partners continue to provide water, conduct hygiene awareness campaigns and plan to undertake light rehabilitation works on water and sanitation infrastructure.

UNFPA and partners have delivered about 11,800 dignity kits and sanitary napkins for women, girls and men as well as 50 pregnant and lactating kits to Dara’a. UNHCR together with protection partners, GOPA and SARC have conducted child protection, psychosocial interventions and GBV awareness sessions targeting about 300 people. In addition, they will train partners on gender-based-violence (GBV) case workers and other protection partners, support case management and referrals, undertake awareness campaigns on prevention of family separation and risk education and provide psychological first aid.

Emergency cash and blanket food distributions supported by UNRWA have slowed down in Dara’a while Mzeireb clinic remains closed since 1 August. In addition, the next school year is expected to start on 5 September, therefore, the schools currently being used as collective shelters will need to be vacated. The humanitarian community continues to advocate for the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance to all affected areas and communities.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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