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

Conflict has killed over 316,000 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. After more than a month of decreased clashes between parties involved in the ceasefire, fighting has started again in mid-February between the SAA and opposition armed groups, including the FSA. 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

26/03: More than 27,000 people from the Barzeh, Qaboun and West Harasta districts of eastern Ghouta have been displaced in Rural Damascus governorate, both within eastern Ghouta and to at Tall.  ?

25/03: A hospital in Hama governorate, and the Kifr Nobol hospital in the Idlib governorate, were rendered out of service due to airstrikes. ? 

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Crisis Overview 2016: Syria

The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016

Syria is one of the 15 crises analysed in this report.

Read the full report here

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

  • Numbers of newly displaced are not regularly available, and generally do not differentiate between new and secondary displacement.
  • Shifting frontlines make it difficult to collect data on humanitarian needs in active conflict zones.
  • Limited information is available on the humanitarian needs of millions living in hard-to-reach areas, who are not regularly accessed by international humanitarian actors.
  • Civilians are afraid of giving information, for fear of reprisal, making assessments harder.

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


Syria's economy: Picking up the pieces

UN Human Rights Council


10th Commission of Inquiry on Syria

International Crisis Group


New approach in southern Syria

International Crisis Group


Syria's Kurds: A struggle within a struggle

Institute for the Study of War


Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS: Sources of strength

Institute for the Study of War


The Syrian opposition's political demands

Syrian Centre for Policy Research


Alienation and Violence: Impact of Syria Crisis Report 2014



Syria Crisis Common Context Analysis



Syria Crisis Common Context Analysis Update 2015



Humanitarian Needs Overview 2017: Syria