Syria Crisis Humanitarian Response (SHARP and RRP) 2014

19 December 2013

As the crisis continues humanitarian needs inside Syria are increasing across all sectors while affected populations are now experiencing the worst winter in many years.  The result of the on-going crisis is further massive population displacement and growing humanitarian needs.  The UN estimates that 6.5 million people are internally displaced and a total of 9.3 million[1]people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 46% of whom are children[2].  These figures include at least 270,000 of the 540,000 registered Palestine refugees who have also been displaced within Syria[3].  Negative impacts on food security are witnessed in several parts of the country, and this combined with deteriorating underlying factors such as water, sanitation and healthcare services has contributed to a growing risk of malnutrition among women and children.  There are critical gaps in essential healthcare delivery particularly in trauma care, primary healthcare and reproductive healthcare services.  The decreasing availability of and access to safe water needs to be urgently addressed in conjunction with poor sanitation and hygiene practices which can increase the risk of an outbreak in communicable diseases.  Psychosocial distress and mental health concerns, the erosion of livelihoods, asset losses, and deteriorating coping mechanisms urgently need to be addressed.  The shortage of adequate and dignified shelter and basic household items remains a major concern, as is hindered access to education, falling enrolment rates and the availability of safe learning spaces. 

The SHARP remains complementary to government led humanitarian response and other appeal frameworks such as those issued by the ICRC and IFRC.  The humanitarian response under this plan will be implemented in full coordination with the Government of Syria and in accordance with 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.  This plan also underscores the need to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The plan fully respects the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic.  It also recognises the state’s responsibility to enhance the protection of all affected people, in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant norms and principles of international law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

In cooperation with the Government of Syria, humanitarian actors, i.e. United Nations (UN) agencies, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) registered in Syria, are launching the 2014 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2014, in order to address the continuing increase in large-scale humanitarian needs throughout all 14 governorates. 

There have been significant improvements in aid delivery efforts including inter-agency convoys and the operationalisation of field hubs which have boosted field programing.  Yet challenges of insecurity and limited partners remain.  The UN will continue working with Syrian partners and humanitarian actors to deliver larger amounts of humanitarian assistance with greater speed and efficiency.

Protection objectives are pursued through activities across all sectors of the humanitarian response.  In the context of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and in particular for the 2014 SHARP, this refers to the protection of all affected civilians including men, women, and children, and other groups with specific needs from violence, exploitation, discrimination, abuse and neglect.  In the course of implementing protection activities, the UN will work in partnership with the government to empower state institutions to uphold humanitarian norms and principles.  The UN will also continue to advocate for greater respect towards international humanitarian law and international human rights law, with relevant stakeholders.  The scope of beneficiaries covered by protection and community services sector is: wide-ranging, encompassing all civilians affected or threatened by the crisis; and targeted, focusing on groups with specific needs, particularly internally displaced people (IDPs), Palestine refugees, migrant workers, women at risk, adolescents and children, people with disabilities and the elderly. 

For purposes of the 2014 SHARP, gender-based violence (GBV) means the prevention and response to violence against women, violence against girls and violence against boys.

The 2014 response plan identifies 5 overarching strategic objectives:

  1. Advocate for the protection of civilians, and in particular of those with specific vulnerabilities and prioritize their needs in accordance with principles of international law, international humanitarian and human rights law. 
  2. Increase the provision of appropriate life-saving emergency services and relief supplies for affected people in Syria, especially in the sectors of food and agriculture, water, sanitation, health, nutrition, shelter, education and essential non-food items.  
  3. Expand early recovery, and restoration/stabilization of livelihoods, supporting the rehabilitation of vital public services affected by the crisis and creating an environment for humanitarian assistance to enhance the resilience of affected communities.  
  4. Enhance the operational capacity of national and international humanitarian responders and support existing local and community coping mechanisms.   
  5. Ensure adequate levels of preparedness to respond to further emerging humanitarian needs.

In consultation with concerned line ministries and SARC, UN agencies, IOM and INGOs have identified critical activities to be undertaken across the 14 governorate in order to strengthen complementarities and further upscale programming.  Implementation will be coordinated closely with the SARC and with the respective line ministries and other relevant Syrian authorities in accordance with agreed mechanisms. 

The scope of humanitarian response continues to grow with increased cooperation and support from the Syrian Government.  Partnerships have grown, although a further increase is required to address the magnitude of needs.  There have been efforts to ensure a more expedited process for the issuance of visas for UN international staff, though more needs to be done to better facilitate INGO staff visas.  Approval has been granted to facilitate the opening of 3 new humanitarian hubs in Aleppo, Qamishley and Sweida to ensure a more effective access to hard-to-reach areas.

UN agencies, IOM and INGOs working under the 2014 SHARP seek US$ $2.27 billion through 122 projects to respond to an estimated 9.3 million people across the country who are in need of critical life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection.  Donors have generously supported the humanitarian response in Syria.  As of 15 December 2013, the SHARP 2013 has received 74% percent of requirements or a net sum of $1.046 billion, out of the total funding requirement of $1.4 billion.  The funding provided to the Syrian humanitarian response represents the highest level of funding of any humanitarian appeal to date, though still falls short of addressing the magnitude of needs. 



[1]The Government of Syria estimates that 5.7 million people are internally displaced.

[2]The planning figures derive from and are triangulated from a range of sources

[3]For simplicity, Palestine refugees displaced within Syria will be included under the term “internally displaced persons”  

Document History

19 December 2013

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