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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Syria - Yemen

01 Apr 2021


The Bab Al-Hawa border crossing, July 2020. © OCHA

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 1 April 2021


In March, 920 trucks carrying UN humanitarian assistance crossed from Turkey into north-west Syria through Bab Al-Hawa, the only crossing open to the UN at this point. Around 1,000 trucks of UN assistance cross through Bab al-Hawa every month, as authorized by the Security Council.

The UN and humanitarian partners delivered assistance to 2.4 million people on average each month in 2020, including food for 1.7 million people through the cross-border operations.

The UN provides most of the emergency food assistance. Between 70 and 80 per cent of that is delivered by the World Food Programme.

Aid deliveries also complement and support programs of international and Syrian non-governmental organizations that provide indispensable assistance and services to millions of people, such as health services. There are no government services in these areas.

Despite the large cross-border operation under way, needs continue to outstrip the response. The UN estimates that people are worse off today than nine months ago when cross-border access was last reviewed. The number of people in need has increased by more than 20 per cent in 2021, to 3.4 million people. Some 1.6 million people live in camps and informal settlements, COVID-19 continues to spread, and the price of a basic food basket rose by 200 per cent in Idleb in the past year.

The Secretary-General has said that all channels should be made, and kept, available to deliver life-saving aid to people in need across Syria. A sustained, large-scale cross-border response remains necessary to address the enormous humanitarian needs of people in north-west Syria.

The renewal of the cross-border authorization in UN Security Council resolution 2533 (2020) for an additional 12 months is essential.



OCHA notes that the humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to worsen. With fuel and food prices at double or even triple the pre-conflict averages and the depreciation of the Yemeni rial, the threat of hunger for millions is a reality.

By June this year, half the Yemeni population – 16.2 million people – will be facing crisis levels of food insecurity and above (IPC3+). Some 50,000 Yemenis are already facing famine-like conditions (IPC-5).

Against this backdrop, the spread of COVID-19 is rapidly on the rise, with some of the highest number of cases reported since the pandemic began.

While the UN and humanitarian partners are providing food assistance to 9 million Yemenis a month alongside water, sanitation and hygiene, health, nutrition and other aid, the operation needs immediate support to fill the funding gap.

To date, the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan has only received 12 per cent (US$442.3 million) of the $3.85 billion needed to fund the aid operation. The UN calls on all donors to immediately disburse their pledges and scale up their funding.