In Syria, the escalation of violence in Hajin in Deir-ez-Zor Governorate has led to the displacement of over 25,000 people to Al Hol camp (since December 2018 until end of January 2019), which currently hosts some 35,000 people and has largely surpassed its maximum capacity. The majority of the displaced are women, children and elderly people, who endured a difficult journey of 300 kilometers with limited food, water and shelter, often reaching the camp in critical health conditions. Due to ongoing insecurity and proximity to areas of active conflict, humanitarian access in the Hajin area remains severely restricted, however, UNICEF is in discussions to establish a reception area to deliver life-saving assistance en route to Al Hol camp.
As a result of the full operation of the water and wastewater networks in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan by end of 2018 (reaching all 78,668 residents, including 44,240 children), UNICEF water trucking has been reduced by 99.7 per cent in addition to operational costs by 75 per cent.
In Lebanon, over 47,000 people were affected by two heavy winter storms that hit the country in early January and which resulted in the destruction of assets and displacement of camp populations. UNICEF and partners provided immediate response, particularly in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector (including dewatering and desludging), monitored child protection and health issues, and distributed relief items, reaching almost 40,000 people, 23,600 of whom are children.
UNICEF’s humanitarian appeals for Syria and for Syrian Refugees in 2019 are 76 per cent underfunded out of the US$1.2 billion combined appeals requirement. Securing additional funds would be critical to meet the humanitarian and resilience needs of vulnerable children in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
# of children affected
# of people affected
(HNO summary, 2019)
Over 2.5 million
# of registered Syria refugee children
Almost 5.7 million
# of registered Syrian refugees
(UNHCR, 20 February 2019)
UNICEF Appeal 2018
US$ 1.2 Billion
US$ 289.4 Million
Humanitarian Situation & Needs Overview: The escalation of violence in Hajin, Deir-ez-Zor Governorate has resulted in the displacement of over 25,000 displaced people to Al Hol camp (from December 2018 until end of January 2019), which currently hosts some 35,000 people and has largely surpassed its maximum capacity. The majority of those leaving the Hajin area are women, children and elderly people, who endured a difficult journey of 300 km with limited food, water and shelter, often reaching the camp in critical health conditions. As of 3 February, at least 32 children and new-borns had died either on the way to or shortly after arriving in the camp since the beginning of December 2018, mostly because of hypothermia. Due to ongoing insecurity and proximity to areas of active conflict, humanitarian access in the Hajin area remains severely restricted. The UN and partners are not able to provide assistance, including life-saving medical assistance for people who are sick or injured during their transit from Hajin areas to Al Hol camp, however discussions are ongoing with Kurdish authorities to establish a reception area to deliver life-saving assistance en route to Al Hol camp.
Concerns around the risk of military escalation in Idleb persisted, with changes in control over the course of the reporting period further complicating the operating environment for humanitarian organizations in these specific areas. Fighting between Government of Syria forces and non-state armed groups also continued to be reported in Idleb and surrounding areas of the north-west, including in areas within the de-militarized zone established on 17 September 2018. Humanitarian organizations, including UNICEF continued to highlight the likely catastrophic consequences of a major military operation in the Idleb area. Changes in control and suspension of stabilization funding by some donors further challenged aid operations in the north-west of the country.
In early January, armed clashes between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and non-state armed opposition groups spread across Aleppo governorate, with some fighting taking place near camps for internally-displaced people (IDPs) and reports of civilian casualties in several locations.
The humanitarian situation in the makeshift settlement at Rukban, at the border with Jordan, continued to deteriorate, with urgent needs for the deployment of humanitarian assistance. By the end of January, UNICEF was engaged in the final preparations for the deployment of a major inter-Agency aid convoy to Rukban to provide comprehensive assistance to more than 40,000 people, including education and child protection supplies and conduct vaccination for estimated 10,000 children residing in the camp.