Revised Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) January - December 2013

7 June 2013

The events in Syria since March 2011 have resulted in significant humanitarian needs.  Compared with the initial 2013 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), launched in December 2012, the crisis has further intensified and expanded into most parts of the country.  Civilians across the country are bearing the brunt of the on-going violence with rising numbers of people killed, injured, displaced or otherwise affected in their living conditions.  The deterioration of the humanitarian situation combined with the need to extend the timeframe of the humanitarian response until December 2013 has necessitated the present revision. 

In collaboration with the Government of Syria, humanitarian actors—United Nations (UN) agencies, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) in Syria—are launching a revised Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2013, in order to address large-scale humanitarian needs throughout all 14 governorates. 

From an original estimate of 4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, the revised Response Plan will target around 6.8 million people, including around 4.25 million internally displaced people, as estimated by the UN. 

The revised Response Plan will be implemented according to UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182 (“Strengthening of the Coordination of Humanitarian Emergency Assistance of the United Nations”) and the Guiding Principles in its annex.  Humanitarian partners renew their commitment to deliver humanitarian aid with full respect to the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic.  The humanitarian response under this plan encompasses the protection of all affected people, in accordance with International Humanitarian law, International Human Rights law and relevant norms and principles of international law.  To this end, it is a state’s responsibility to seek to ensure that the rights of all individuals on their territory are respected and guaranteed.

Protection objectives are pursued through activities across all sectors of the humanitarian response in Syria.  Protection in the context of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and in particular for the SHARP, means the protection of all affected civilians including children, women, men and other groups with specific needs from violence, exploitation, discrimination, abuse and neglect resulting from the crisis. 

In the course of implementing its protection activities, the UN will work in partnership with the Government to empower the state institutions to uphold humanitarian norms and principles.  The UN will also continue to advocate for greater respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law, with relevant stakeholders. 

The initial objectives of the SHARP are as follows:

  • Provide relief supplies and appropriate emergency services to those most directly affected by the current events
  • Provide assistance to people who left their homes as a result of current situation and to communities assisting them
  • Support to the government in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of critical infrastructure and vital public services affected by the current events through rapid response.
  • Address humanitarian needs of the poor who are most affected by the current situation to avoid further destitution.

In the revised version of the 2013 SHARP, these objectives have been developed into the following set of strategic objectives:

  • Advocate for the protection of civilians, and in particular of those with specific vulnerabilities and prioritize their needs in accordance with principles of international humanitarian and human rights law and international law.
  • Increase the provision of life-saving emergency assistance and supporting the delivery of essential servicesfor affected people in Syria, especially in the sectors of food and agriculture, water, sanitation, health, shelter, education and essential non-food items. 
  • Expand humanitarian response to encompass early recovery, and restoration/ stabilization of livelihoods, supporting the government in the rehabilitation of vital public services affected by the crisis and creating an environment for humanitarian assistance to enhance the resilience of affected communities.
  • Enhance the operational capacityof national and international humanitarian responders and support existing local and community coping mechanisms. 
  • Ensure adequate levels of preparednessto respond to a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

The revised Response Plan builds on the findings of sectoral assessments carried out during the first half of 2013 by concerned ministries, UN agencies, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and Syrian charities.  It takes stock of the increased needs across all sectors.

In terms of the most urgent needs, the revised Response Plan considers the following categories of affected people:

  • People located in or near areas subject to armed activities
  • Internally displaced people
  • Host families and communities
  • Destitute people in urban and rural areas suffering from the socio-economic impact of the crisis as well as the prevailing economic sanctions 
  • Affected Palestinian refugees

Based on assessment findings, vulnerability, geographical locations and designation of life-saving, time-critical actions and interventions geared towards the restoration of public services have been included as prioritisation criteria.  Moreover, the revision includes new elements consisting of the protection of the Syrian cultural heritage, which has been significantly looted and/or destroyed.  Additional assessments will remain crucial to further tailor the humanitarian response. 

In consultation with concerned line ministries and SARC, UN agencies, IOM and INGOs have identified critical activities to undertake across the 14 governorates in order to further scale up their programming.  Notable among these include: the provision of food rations for 4 million people; agriculture and livestock support for 620,800 people; the provision of non-food items for 3.67 million people; shelter assistance for 372,500 internally displaced people; cash assistance for 257,650 families;  provision of safe drinking water for 10 million people (20 litres/person/day); sanitation for 5 million people; access to education in safe and protective learning environments for 1.2 million school-age children; psycho-social support for 260,000 children; access to primary and secondary health care for 6.8 million people; treatment of 100,000 under-five-year-old children with acute malnutrition and prevention of under-nutrition for 869,500 under-five-year-old children and 300,000 pregnant or lactating women; 9,000 short-term jobs created; rubble removal, 15,000 tons of solid waste removed; provision of common services support to humanitarian actors (Logistics and Emergency telecommunications); improvements of staff safety measures and establishment of additional hubs; protection of the cultural heritage; and awareness-raising for explosive remnants of war (ERW). 

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), with the support of the General Authority for Palestinian Refugees in Syria, will continue to provide multi-sector humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian refugees in Syria, also affected by the current events. 

The plan acknowledges that despite significant improvements in recent months, aid delivery continues to face various obstacles due to insecurity, bureaucratic constraints and insufficient partnerships and highlights the need to continue working together with Syrian partners on simplification of those procedures to enable all implementing partners to deliver larger amount of assistance, in a faster and more robust way.

The scope of humanitarian partnerships has broadened significantly compared to the original 2013 SHARP.  The number of humanitarian partners has increased: there are currently 14 UN agencies, of which United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and UN-Habitat are two recent additions, as well as IOM and 7 out of the 14 INGOs accredited in Syria which have included projects that will contribute to the on-going response.  The total number of projects has increased from 61 to 103 projects.

In light of the critical contribution and support provided by existing international NGOs in the humanitarian response, and acknowledging the Government’s approval of four additional INGOs since December last year, the humanitarian community will continue to advocate for additional INGOs to increase the humanitarian capacity in country. 

Additionally, expanded support to the efforts of Syrian charities, who are the drivers of a wide range of small-scale and localized interventions, will be an important means of promoting the inclusive and active participation of Syrian citizens from all walks of life in initiatives that safeguard communal bonds.  UN agencies and partners aim at expanding the role of local stakeholders in a way to strengthen the response to the growing needs.

Implementation will be coordinated closely with the SARC and with the respective line ministries and other Syrian institutions and charities in accordance with agreed mechanisms.  Contributions to humanitarian aid under the Response Plan should be provided in a way that is not to the detriment of resources made available for international cooperation for development. 

With this revised response plan, in complementarity with the Government of Syria, the UN agencies, IOM and INGOs officially accredited in Syria seek US$1,409,812,466to provide critical humanitarian response from January to December 2013.  This represents a review of original funding requirements of US$519,627,047 for the period January to June 2013. 

Notwithstanding the donors’ generosity to the humanitarian response in Syria, additional support is required to ensure the provision of critical life-saving assistance,  the continuation of basic social services, restoration of livelihoods and enhanced preparedness to widespread needs in the absence of a political solution to the crisis.   

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7 June 2013

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