UNICEF and partners continue the implementation of the 2016-2017 winter assistance programme in Syria and in the five neighbouring Syrian refugee host countries, helping thousands of vulnerable Syrian families protect their children from the cold. So far, a total of 1.6 million children (target 2.5 million) were reached with at least one of the following interventions including distribution of winter clothing kits (about 650,000 children); thermal blankets (about 318,000 children); high energy biscuits (4,000 children); mobile health services or vaccinations (about 752,000 children); cash assistance (over 310,000 children) and delivery of fuel to ensure school are heated (over 229,000 children). UNICEF’s winter appeal was about 70% funded.
UNICEF in Iraq and Egypt have a critical funding gap against their 2017 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan appeal for support to Syrian refugees, with only 6 per cent and 14 per cent respectively of the UNICEF 2017 appeal for Syrian refugees received as of end of February 2017. Donor funding is critical to enable UNICEF to continue its response to vulnerable populations through its partners.
Arsal, a Lebanese town on the eastern border with Syria, hosts over 40,000 Syrian refugees which exceeds the Lebanese population by 15 per cent. Access to adequate sanitation, potable water and solid waste management has become a trigger of tension and adversely affecting social cohesion between the host community and refugees and is facing a looming health crisis.
UNICEF, despite continuing challenges to humanitarian access, has reached about 230,485 people in 152 hard to reach locations with life-saving interventions and critical services, and delivered supplies for about 3,663 beneficiaries in five besieged areas through different modalities of delivery.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
# of children affected
# of people affected
# of registered Syria refugee children
# of registered Syrian refugees
(UNHCR, 08 March 2017)
UNICEF Appeal 2016
US$ 1,396 million
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs: As the Syria crisis enters its seventh year, notwithstanding the nationwide cessation of hostilities agreed by main parties to the conflict1 on 31 December 2016, the situation in the country remains volatile with consequences for the 5.8 million children in need of humanitarian assistance across the country2 . In February 2017, the number of humanitarian deliveries to hard-to-reach (HTR) and besieged (BSG) areas inside Syria through Inter-Agency Convoys continued at a very low pace, due to a combination of deterioration of security conditions, as well as delays in obtaining approvals. A United Nations (UN) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) Humanitarian Convoy reached Talbiseh (Homs) on 5 February with UNICEF delivering health, nutrition and WASH supplies for 125,000 people in need, while a subsequent UN/SARC convoy reached Al Rastan (Homs) on 12 February with UNICEF delivering health, nutrition and WASH supplies for 87,800 people in need. A convoy to Al Waer in Homs was aborted due to security issues. In addition, a UN aid convoy of 22 trucks carrying food, medical supplies and winter clothes to Al Waer were looted. Medical, surgical and renewable items continue to be removed from medical kits during the loading of convoys, hampering the functionality of the kits for the people in need. In Aleppo, an estimated 1.8 million people continued to be affected in February by the El Khafsa water supply cuts since 14 January 2017. The population resorted to unsafe or contaminated water and therefore increasing the risk of exposure to water borne diseases, with a particular concern for children.