Overview

14.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, including 6.3 million IDPs.

Conflict has killed over 322,000 people, including 86,000 civilians, and caused large-scale displacement. Protection concerns are widespread. WASH and access to food are high priorities, as well as access to health services. Humanitarian needs in areas under prolonged and ongoing siege are particularly high as access is obstructed.

Clashes are ongoing in Dara, ar Raqqa, Homs, and Hama governorates and Deir-ez-Zor city. The Turkish army recently increased activity in Aleppo governorate, targeting both Islamic State and the Kurdish YPG. 

INFORM measures Syria's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high, at 6.9/10. The intensity of highly violent conflict in the country is of particular concern . ?

Latest Developments

27/05: 122 IS fighters’ family members were killed within 24 hours by airstrikes by the US-led coalition.?

26/05: Reports from IS-controlled Raqqa city highlight a lack of electricity, water, and medical services. Food prices rose by 25% in the week leading to 23 May.?

23/05: In Idlib city, water is supplied to each sector of the city for four hours every ten days.?

23/05: In al-Bab, Aleppo governorate, a suspected typhoid outbreak is ongoing. Health facilities in the city are ill-equipped to deal with the outbreak as they lack antibiotics and tests for diagnosing the disease.?

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Key figures

  • 14,900,000 People in need  [?]
  • 6,300,000 IDPs  [?]
  • 4,890,000 People living in hard-to-reach and besieged areas  [?]
  • 7,000,000 Severely food insecure  [?]

Key priorities

Protection: 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, are estimated to be in need of protection assistance.

14.9 million people need WASH access 70% of the population lack regular access to clean drinking water.

Health: only 43% of facilities are fully operating. 95% of people lack access to adequate healthcare. The conflict has significantly damaged health facilities, and fuel shortages further hamper access to health services.

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Information Gaps and needs

  • Localised ceasefires with positive humanitarian impacts have been managed through pressure from civilians, military stalemates, access to strategic resources, and exchange of prisoners. Obstacles to ceasefires include lack of independent mediators and monitoring, lack of trust, military tactics, and regional interference
  • Negotiating humanitarian access is extremely challenging in Syria, and blocking humanitarian aid has been used as a war tactic by various parties in the conflict. International organisations have frequently operated through Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) as a result of the access constraints faced by international organisations
  • There is very limited information on many areas where there are ongoing clashes. ? This includes ar Raqqa – where around 100,000 are feared to live under severe conditions. Lack of access, and fear of reprisals from the population, are driving factors in this lack of information. 
  • The frequent rapid changes in the security situation have made advanced planning of humanitarian response extremely challenging 

Lessons learned

  • Localised ceasefires with positive humanitarian impacts have been managed through pressure from civilians, military stalemates, access to strategic resources, and exchange of prisoners. Obstacles to ceasefires include lack of independent mediators and monitorising, lack of trust, military tactics, and regional interference.?
  • Negotiating humanitarian access is extremely challenging in Syria, and blocking humanitarian aid has been used as a war tactic by various parties in the conflict. International organisations have frequently operated through Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) as a result of the access constraints faced by international organisations.??
  • The frequent rapid changes in the security situation have made advanced planning of humanitarian response extremely challenging.?
Key documents

David Butter, Chatham House

30/06/2015

Syria's economy: Picking up the pieces

UN Human Rights Council

13/08/2015

10th Commission of Inquiry on Syria

International Crisis Group

02/09/2015

New approach in southern Syria

International Crisis Group

22/01/2013

Syria's Kurds: A struggle within a struggle

Institute for the Study of War

01/02/2016

Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS: Sources of strength

Institute for the Study of War

29/12/2015

The Syrian opposition's political demands

Syrian Centre for Policy Research

30/03/2015

Alienation and Violence: Impact of Syria Crisis Report 2014

IASC

01/04/2014

Syria Crisis Common Context Analysis

IASC

01/08/2015

Syria Crisis Common Context Analysis Update 2015

OCHA

01/12/2016

Humanitarian Needs Overview 2017: Syria