Syrian Arab Republic


Violence and economic crisis in Syria have resulted in a serious humanitarian situation that has regional repercussions. Since March 2011, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced temporarily or for extended periods, and their needs are placing a strain on host communities. Over 100,000 refugees have arrived in neighbouring countries. Communities in towns affected by conflict are particularly vulnerable, and access to health services, including treatment for the wounded, is limited. Damage to housing and public infrastructure is extensive, and markets, production and social services are disrupted. The economic impact of the crisis is deepening vulnerabilities and increasing poverty levels. The outlook for the agricultural and commercial sectors is poor, as unrest will likely continue for some time.

Given the scale of humanitarian needs and the likelihood that the situation will deteriorate, a significant relief effort will be required to continue. To support the humanitarian response, an OCHA presence will likely be required for at least the next two years.

In 2012, OCHA continues to focus on negotiating access to affected people, information management, and coordinating a rapidly increasing humanitarian response and advocacy. OCHA will also continue to facilitate the Emergency Response Fund. OCHA will be ready, when feasible, to support durable solutions for displaced people, and a transition to early recovery and development assistance.

A UN observer documents the damage done by heavy shelling in Homs, Syria. © UN Photo /David Manyua