Syrian Arab Republic: Flash Update – Al-Hasakeh – 23 August 2016

Situation Report
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  • Since 18 August, military tensions in Al-Hasakeh city resulted in the displacement of some 5,250 families to locations north of Al-Hasakeh city.

  • In addition, some 8,000 families are understood to have displaced from Al-Hasakeh city towards the suburban neighborhoods of Sofia, Dolab Alawis, and Msherfa towns, and to nearby villages.

  • The UN and its humanitarian partners are providing humanitarian assistance to the IDPs, albeit, due to scale and pace of displacement, not all needs could be met yet.

  • Some 15,000 families reportedly remain in AlHasakeh city. Most shops inside Al-Hasakeh city remain closed. Residents can only buy groceries in the north-western suburbs, provided the security situation allows them to access those locations.

Situation Overview

On 16 August 2016, heavy clashes between the Kurdish security force, known as the Asayish, and the GoS forces erupted in Al-Hasakeh city. According to UN agencies and local NGO partners, an estimated 8,000 families were displaced towards the suburbs of Al-Hasakeh city and an additional 5,250 families were displaced beyond the wider Al-Hasakeh area. A ceasefire agreement was reportedly reached on 22 August, however, at the time of writing, it remains unclear if the around 1,000 families that had allegedly been trapped in the cross fire in the central neighborhoods of Al-Hasakeh city managed to leave the area.

Humanitarian Situation

The humanitarian situation inside Al-Hassakeh remain precarious. Reports indicate that civilian movement inside Al-Hasakeh city is limited. As a result of the clashes, electricity is only working intermittedly for one or two hours per day, which affects the operation of water pumps. On 21 August, only 4,000 families living in Querran and Masaken neighborhoods received pumped water while 11,000 families could not access pumped water.

Starting 18 August, local NGOs reported that some 1,800 families arrived in Amuda city and surrounding villages, some 1,000 families displaced to Darbasiyah city and surrounding villages and around 750 families displaced to Tal Tamer town, and surrounding villages in the Tal Tamer sub-district. An estimated 800 families displaced to Qamishli city and 900 families displaced to Ras Alain and surrounding villages. The number of IDP may be higher and could very well increase as registration efforts are still ongoing. At the time of writing, an estimated 15,000 families remain in the areas that are deemed safe inside Al-Hasakeh city.

Most of the displaced families are currently hosted by relatives or friends while 367 families are hosted in 15 collective shelters across Al-Hasakeh city, Qamishli, Tal Tamer, Darbasiyah, and Amuda.

Humanitarian Response

In responses to the high displacement numbers, UNHCR began the registration of IDP familiesin collective shelters through Al-Ihsan NGO, and also distributed NFIs the displaced population. WFP is also providing food assistance to people in collective shelters through its partners on the ground.
Some food rations, hygiene kits and NFIs are currently prepositioned in the governorate, however, their numbers are insufficient to meet all needs on the ground. Small-scale distributions of ready-to-eat rations, NFI kits, water trucking and dignity kits through local NGOs are currently underway. None withstanding, the needs on the ground appear to exceed the current scale of the response.

UNICEF conducted field visits to many of the displacement areas to confirm the IDP numbers and to carry out an additional multi-sectoral needs assessment. UNICEF also distributed soap and hygiene kits to the displaced families in collective shelters in Amuda and Darbasiyah, and facilitated some repair work on the water supply system in Darbasiyah collective shelter. Through a local partner organization, UNICEF initiated psychosocial social support activities in IDP shelters.

UNFPA provided services to IDPs in collective shelters in Qamishli, Amuda and Darbasiyah through three mobile clinics. Additionally, UNFPA received displaced people in two clinic centers in Ras Aalin and Tal Tamr, where they provided health services to women and children.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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