Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.60 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.80 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
The Syrian civil war that started in 2011 has displaced more than 14 million people, producing one of the largest displacement crises in the world. More than 306,000 civilians, or 1.5% of the total population, have died (meaning an average of 83 civilian deaths per day)?.
There are around 6.9 million people internally displaced by the conflict, with 3.37 million living in inadequate shelters. Of these 3.37 million, two million live in 1,760 last-resort sites, such as informal settlements. The majority of IDPs, 80% of whom are women and children, reside in Idleb and Aleppo governorates in Northwest Syria?.
An estimated 7.1 million refugees have left the country, primarily to neighbouring Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Türkiye. This figure includes 5.6 million registered Syrian refugees and 48,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria. Türkiye hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, followed by Lebanon and Jordan?.
Syria also faces an economic crisis, which began when the conflict erupted and then accelerated from late 2019 as a result of the combined impact of US sanctions, COVID-19, the collapse of the financial system in neighbouring Lebanon, and the increase in the prices of oil shipments from Iran. Since the beginning of the conflict, the Syrian gross domestic product has shrunk by more than half, the currency has dropped to record lows, and extreme poverty has been affecting more than half of the population (when it was almost non-existent before the conflict)?.
The conflict and the economic collapse left an estimated 14.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022. Humanitarian needs are severe across all sectors, with significant health, education, WASH, shelter, protection, and food needs. Years of conflict have left healthcare centres, hospitals, schools, and water and sanitation systems damaged or destroyed?.
Households are forced to adopt negative coping mechanisms, including child labour, early marriage, and the cutting or reduction of meals. In 2022, an estimated 13.9 million people in Syria were food-insecure, with 12 million facing severe acute food insecurity?.
As at 24 May 2023, the Semalka border crossing connecting Northeast Syria with Iraq had been closed for four days following disputes between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Kurdish-controlled Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Around three million people live in Northeast Syria, including over 655,000 IDPs. The Semalka border is a vital crossing for the movement of people and goods between the two regions, and it is the only one that is not controlled by either the Syrian or Turkish Governments in Northeast Syria. Around two million people in Northeast Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance. The crossing has been used by humanitarian organisations, and its closure will have an impact on humanitarian operations, including the transport of supplies and staff. Before the Iraqi authorities closed the border on 20 May, over 300 international staff were evacuated.?
very high Constraints
Syria faced Very High humanitarian access constraints in the past six months, scoring 4/5 in ACAPS Humanitarian Access Index. The humanitarian access situation remained unchanged from the last assessment.
For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – December 2022.
Registered Violent events (entries) 2020 and 2021
Source : ACLED - https://www.acleddata.com/data/
Total Registered fatalities 2020 and 2021
Source : ACLED - https://www.acleddata.com/data/
Protection: 14.2 million people, including 6.2 million children, are estimated in need of protection assistance. ?
Gender key priority: Women and girls in northwest Syria face multiple forms of protection and mental health concerns. Displacement, negative coping mechanisms (such as child marriage), lack of education, and the economic crisis contribute to increasing trauma and depression rates, which trigger higher risk of suicide. Access to psychiatric and psychosocial support remains very limited ?.
Food security: 13.9 million people are food insecure, with another 1.9 million at risk of falling into food insecurity. Food prices are higher than a year ago: the cost of a WFP food basket is 71% higher in February 2022 than it was in February 2021. ?
WASH: 13.2 million people need acute WASH-assistance. ?
Health: 12.2 million people require health assistance. The conflict has significantly damaged health facilities. ?
Syria ranked among the 25 countries most likely to face extreme water stress by 2040. Since late 2020, the country has been facing a drought that studies estimate to be the worst in 70 years. Driving factors include the impact of climate change on rainfall and temperature?. As a consequence, and with upstream countries building dams, Syria is witnessing unprecedented low water levels of the Euphrates River, affecting over five million people who rely on it for drinking water, irrigation, and electricity?.
The drought conditions have affected food and nutrition security in Syria, especially for households that depend on agriculture?. In 2021, 18 subdistricts in northeastern Syria recorded crop losses of up to 75% in rain-fed harvested areas, affecting about 229,000 people who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods?. Wheat production in 2021 was less than half of the production in 2020, leaving Syria almost 1.5 million tons short of its domestic needs?. Similarly, estimates for the 2022 wheat production are very low at approximately 1.05 million compared to 2.8 million in 2020?.
The reduced flow of the Euphrates River has drastically diminished the hydroelectric potential of Syrian dams?. Low water levels have resulted in reduced energy production capacity, causing power blackouts especially in northeastern Syria, where about 80% of electric power is hydraulically generated. The blackouts have affected more than three million people?. By the end of 2021, the lack of electricity had rendered 50% of the water and sanitation systems across the country non-operational. 70% of sewage was discharged without proper treatment, and more than five million people lacked access to safe drinking water?. The situation has led many to rely on unsafe open sources and emergency water trucking for clean water. Others have resorted to non-hygienic practices, increasing the risk of spreading waterborne diseases. For example, the recent cholera outbreak in October 2022 was linked to people drinking unsafe water from the Euphrates River and irrigating food crops with contaminated water?.
On 10 September 2022, the Syrian Government declared a cholera outbreak, the first in the country since 2009?. The current outbreak first emerged in the northwestern governorate of Deir-ez-Zor before spreading to all 14 governorates of Syria?. Between 25 August and 5 November, at least 35,569 suspected cases (including 92 deaths) have been recorded in the country?. Out of the 2,729 tested samples, 1,491 (54.6%) came back positive, with most cases reported in the northwestern governorates of Dier-ez-Zor and Ar-Raqqa, together accounting for more than two-thirds of all cases as at 14 November 2022?.
In Syria, the outbreak is believed to be linked to drinking and irrigating crops with contaminated water from the Euphrates River, which around five million people in Syria use as their main water source?. Electricity shortages have led to water and sanitation systems becoming non-operational, leading to the direct regular discharge of sewerage into the river causing the contamination ?.
Record low water levels of the Euphrates River in the past few years have reduced energy production capacity, especially in northeastern Syria. By the end of 2021, electricity shortages had rendered 50% of the water and sanitation systems across the country non-operational. The situation has led to 70% of sewage being discharged without proper treatment, resulting in more than five million people lacking access to safe drinking water?. The outbreak presents a serious threat to people in Syria and the rest of the region. The outbreak has already spread to the neighbouring country of Lebanon, which reported its first case on 6 October?.
Urgent health and WASH response is needed to prevent the further spread of the outbreak. There is a need for chlorination tablets, proper water treatment, and sewage management. Oral rehydration salts, health kits, and rapid diagnostic tests are also needed for the treatment of affected people?.