Syria

Syrian Arab Republic: Humanitarian Access Severity Overview (August 2021)

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Key findings (as of July 2021)

Consolidating access severity scores across all humanitarian partner groups –UN Agencies, International NGOs and National NGOs –reveals that from among the 13.4M people in need (PiN) of assistance living in 270 sub-districts across Syria, the level of access constraints were found to be:

• High in 20 sub-districts (representing 3 per cent of PiN – 402K)

• Moderate in 80 sub-districts (35 per cent of PiN – 4.69M)

• Lower in 170 sub-districts (62 per cent of PiN – 8.308M)

Conflict-related dynamics are the most common constraint faced by all humanitarian partners and all response modalities in the ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ ranked sub-districts - notably those in proximity to frontlines in the Northwest and Northeast, or in areas where ISIL remains active. Another common feature in these sub-districts is the targeting or occupation of critical infrastructure, including hospitals, health facilities and water stations in violation of International Humanitarian Law.

Background and methodology

Up until 2019 consolidated access reporting across Syria was based on Besieged/Hard-to-Reach access classifications, which was subsequently revised to a system of multi-indicator incident reporting and a three tier ‘quality of access’ presentation. Further to feedback received from humanitarian partners across the response, and drawing on global best practice, the methodology has now been updated to combine quantitative and qualitative aspects. Focus group discussions are convened (separately) with UN Agencies, INGOs and National NGO partner organizations from each response modality to collect and distil an agreed understanding by the humanitarian community of the access environment in Syria. Once consolidated, the findings are cross-checked by field-based experts, including to avoid discrepancies with other quantitative data or reporting. The findings for all organisation types, and for all sub-districts, are applied to a three-point severity scale – generally the average score per sub-district in relation to the impact on programs and people’s ability to access services. To note: the information presented for much of the Northeast includes a combined severity scoring based on the expert and collective understanding of the NES Forum coordinated partners and HCT-coordinated partners operating cross-line.

Data was collected through 45 focus group discussions and 15 bilateral discussions covering 270 subdistricts during the month of July, prior to the recent escalation in violence around Dar’a and prior to the recent successfull cross-line delivery to North-west Syria.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.