Turkey Hub Health Cluster Bulletin - October 2019
• On the 9th October, a Turkish offensive into northeast Syria, code-named ‘Operation Peace Spring’ was launched; with the aimed to “eliminate Kurdish rebels” and establish a “safe zone” for refugees. By month ends, the operation precipitated the displacement of over 200,000 people.
• In the northwest Syria, the continue escalation of attacks in Idleb kick-off one of the largest internal displacement toward the northwestern borders closer to Turkey. With no belongings and no essential items to survive, an estimated over half million people were substituting their houses by a shelter under the trees and/or in one of the camps already settled.
• Of the approximately 630,000 IDPs who live in camps or informal settlements in northwest Syria, some 457,000 are concentrated in Harim District, in Atma and Deir Hassan sub-districts.
• As per the WHO Surveillance System for Attacks on health care (SSA), 215 attacks on health care reported over the course of 34 months – 73 between January and October 20191 .
• On 24th October, the Turkey Syria Cross Border Humanitarian Fund (SCHF) announced the launch of the 2019 Second Standard Allocation.
The second week of October 2019 was marked with the Turkish armed forces launching the named ‘Operation Peace Spring,’ - a military offensive aimed to create a 30-km “safe zone” (see insert to the right) in north-eastern Syria with the intentions to “eliminate Kurdish rebels” according to Ankara in the region, and with the end-goal to relocate the Syrian refugees living in Turkey6 .
The “safe zone” area described by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extends parallel to Turkey’s border with Syria for about 300 miles7 . The territory proposed by President Erdogan at the United Nations General Assembly comprises an area that could provide living space for some 3 million Syrians. The “safe zone” comprises Jarablus, Manbij, Ayn al-Arab (Kobane), Tell Abyad, Suluk, Ras al-Ayn, al-Darbasiyah,
Amuda, Qamishli, and al-Malikiyah8 .
The military Turkish military offensive caused major internal populations displacements and interruption of humanitarian activities in the region. Following the start of the offensive, the US and Turkey reached, on 17 October, an agreement for a 120-hour ceasefire calling for Kurdish armed forces to move away from the SyriaTurkey border, and by the end of the month according to OCHA over 200,000 people were displaced.
During the same period, in the NW Syria, an estimated more than 500,000 people were forced to move as a result of the increase of violence between the Government of Syria forces and its allies and non-state armed groups. Seeking for secure shelter people were leaving behind their houses, belongings and shelters; some were forced to move more than twice too, heading toward areas near the Syrian-Turkish border which are densely-populated with an overwhelmed humanitarian assistance.
According to CCCM Cluster of the approximately 630,000 IDPs who live in camps or informal settlements in northwest Syria, some 457,000 are concentrated in Harim District, in Atma and Deir Hassan sub-districts. Adequate shelter remains one of the most pressing needs for the internally displaced people and for the host communities. With winter rapidly approaching, winterization needs are becoming more urgent as women, children and men who live in open air, makeshift settlements or unfinished buildings will be at greater risk as the weather gets colder9 . To respond to these, identify population needs, the SCHF announced the launch of the 2019 Second Standard Allocation targeting the most vulnerable population in the most affected geographical sub-districts identified by the cluster partners.