Rapid deterioration in conditions across the country
The Syrian conflict has raged now for more than six years. It has devastated the infrastructure of the country and has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. NGOs are finding it extremely difficult to access besieged areas to provide vital humanitarian aid to people in dire need.
In times of war, events can move on very quickly. Even in the last month, we have seen rapid deterioration in the situations of people across the country.
On the 17th of October, the SDF, supported by the US, entered Raqqa. The town had been under the control of ISIS and was taken over by the SDF after a four month long military operation. 270,000 civilians are reported as having fled the fighting around the city since April. Many of these are in very unsatisfactory conditions as the camps to which they have fled were already straining to accommodate internal refugees.
However, because of the difficulty of accessing the town, the UN has said that as many as 7,000 civilians are trapped in Raqqa unable to flee for fear of minefields, snipers and shelling. The UN estimates that 80% of Raqqa is uninhabitable.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, supported by the UK reported that at least 116 people were killed by ISIS in Al-Qaryatayn in the province of Homs. The town had been liberated from Islamic State in April 2016 but had recently been recaptured by them. They are reported to have carried out mass killings of people who they identified as their opponents. These killings were uncovered when IS was expelled from the town for a second time in late October 2017.
Continuing violence and arial bombardments threatens thousands of civillians in the governate of Deir ez-Zor The UN estimates almost 64,000 people have had to flee their homes during this September
The Syria conflict continues to cause the greatest displacement of people by war of our times. And persistent violence has destroyed entire communities and led to the scattering of terrified populations forced to leave their homes many fleeing Syria altogether as refugees. The conditions endured by people in camps for Internally Displaced People inside Syria are already miserable. This new influx from Deir ez-Zor is pushing overstretched camps to breaking point.
North Eastern Syria
The UN reports that the situation in this region is very unstable and there is immanent risk of mass evacuations from the North East. This will put this very vulnerable population in extreme danger.
The Food Crisis in Syria
On Monday the 23rd of October, images from AFP showed a baby from an opposition controlled area near Damascus. Little Sahar Dofdaa was one month old and weighed less than a mere 2kg when she tragically died.
Parts of Syria face an unprecedented food scarcity. Nine Million people face food insecurity, which means they cannot find enough food every day. Of these, Seven Million are suffering extreme hunger.
The fighting has ruined the livelihoods of countless people and destroyed lands and irrigation systems. Food production is in free fall and has resulted in the price of food skyrocketing. Almost 80% of people living in Syria now have difficulty being able to afford the price of the food they need.
Our provision of food aid is one of largest areas of operation: food parcels, bread, and cooked meals. Supported by donations, we supplied 37,300 tonnes of flour to Syrian bakeries over three years (2014-17).
We have also provided Syrian farmers with the tools and resources to grow their own food and build local community resilience to conflict related shocks and interruptions to the food supply.
HAI also provides shelter and essential non-food items. We support public hospitals and schools buy supplying clean water, and in association with our partners UNOCHA and Americares, we support the Al-Iman Hospital for Women and Children. In 2016 as many as 150,000 people had access to this facility as well as to our mobile clinics.
In 2016 we also provided educational support to IDPs in Syria giving school access to 1,400 children (funded by UNOCHA). We supported improved education projects for 80,000 children in Northern Syria (funded by UNICEF).
In 2017 we will continue supporting all of these projects to IDPs, to the people of Northern Syria, and to Syrian refugees in Turkey and beyond: supplying flour, food parcels (in association with the WFP), cooked meals and winter kits.Save a life in Syria