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
CrisisInSIght: Global Risk Analysis
Syria: Cholera outbreak in the northeastern regions
Humanitarian Access Overview
Syria: Humanitarian needs in Afrin
Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, more than 227,400 civilians – including 29,520 children – have died as a result of the conflict?. 6.9 million people are internally displaced in Syria, and 5.6 million are registered refugees in neighbouring countries. Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, followed by Lebanon and Jordan. An estimated 14.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian needs in Syria 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?.
Syria faces an economic crisis, and the value of the Syrian pound has dropped to record lows. The economic downturn – which began when the conflict erupted – has accelerated since late 2019, leading to soaring prices of food, fuel, and other critical items. The cost of basic staples has increased by over 200% since late 2019?. Food prices are 20 times higher than their pre-conflict levels. Households are forced to adopt negative coping mechanisms, including child labour, early marriage, and cutting or reducing meals. As of 2021, an estimated 12.4 million people in Syria – more than 70% of the current population, and the highest level ever recorded in the country – are food insecure, up from 7.9 million in 2020?.
Military operations in Northwest Syria in and around Idlib displaced nearly a million people between December 2019–February 2020. There are an estimated 4.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Northwest Syria. Over four million people reside in Northeast Syria, including thousands of internally displaced people and imprisoned members of Islamic State who are living in severely overcrowded conditions?.
A cholera outbreak was declared by the Government of Syria on 10 September, and 68 related deaths were recorded since. Deir-ez-Zor, Ar Raqqa, Aleppo, and Al-Hasakeh governorates reported 98% of all suspected cases. As of October 8, more than 15,823 suspected cases have been reported, with a case fatality rate of 0.43%. This is the first cholera outbreak in Syria since 2009. Health and WASH response is underway, but there is a significant risk of spread of cholera in crowded IDP camps in the northwestern and northeastern regions. Severe shortages of water and water infrastructure damage throughout Syria are resulting in people using non-hygienic practices and drinking and using unsafe water. Based on initial assessments, the outbreak is believed to be linked to drinking unsafe water from the Euphrates River and food crops that were irrigated with contaminated water?
For more information, you can read our latest report.
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 has been improving because the number of violent incidents against humanitarians decreased during the reporting period, contributing to slightly better access of humanitarians to the people in need.
For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – July 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. ?
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?.