17 April 2013: Since the onset of events in March 2011, the ongoing conflict in Syria has reached catastrophic levels. Violence has escalated in scale and scope, with newly affected, densely populated urban areas becoming part of the conflict, causing significantly increased levels of displacement, destruction and causalities. The brutal conflict has become indiscriminate, leaving people in constant fear of violence and subject to trauma. An estimated 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance – half of them children.
The majority of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled in a hurry, bringing few of their belongings with them. An estimated 80 per cent of them now live with host families or in collective shelters; the other IDPs (approximately 700,000 individuals) have sought refuge in informal group shelters, such as unused buildings. An exceptionally harsh winter exacerbated the suffering of the IDPs.
The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided a rapid response grant of US$20,433,455 to nine UN agencies. The allocations will help 3.1 million people affected by the crisis in Syria.
With an allocation of $3,501,302, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will provide non-food items and emergency shelters. UNHCR will also monitor the humanitarian assistance with field visits.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has received $3,494,618 to provide child protection, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. UNICEF will also continue its vaccination campaigns for children aged 6 months to 15 years to cope with outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
By conducting awareness sessions on good agricultural practices, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will seek to mitigate potential long-term impacts from the crisis. Using an allocation of $1,499,994, FAO will also distribute poultry feed and vegetable-input packages, including seeds, hand tools and fertilizers.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has received $999,637 to improve women’s access to reproductive health facilities, as well as to provide personal hygiene materials and dignity kits.
Through an allocation of $2,960,812, the World Health Organization (WHO) will support emergency services and operating theatres by providing medicines, medical supplies and IV fluids for trauma injuries, among others.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has received more than $3 million to provide life-saving food assistance in the form of a monthly food basket that includes wheat flour to make bread.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has received $1,477,135 to provide hygiene kits and to implement information campaigns to raise awareness on solid waste and hygiene issues.
Through an allocation of $1,999,998, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will procure food, hygiene kits, medical supplies and other non-food items.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has received $1,499,914 to enhance access to health care services through coordination with established networks of UN agencies, NGO partners and local authorities. IOM will also provide non-food items and rehabilitation of shelters.