Type of response:
The toll of the conflict on people in North West Syria grows as the hostilities in northern Hama, southern Idleb and western Aleppo governorates continue between the Government of Syria (GoS) and allied forces and non-state armed groups. Violence has continued unabated since the end of April, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, disrupting the provision of basic services, and killing and injuring large numbers of civilians. Since 1st May, more than 327,536 individuals are displaced in 1,523 locations in Northern Aleppo and Idleb governorates with people staying in IDP sites and informal settlements. There are huge material needs as well as immediate trauma suffered and protection risks. Fighting across the front line escalated once more from 3 June onward.
The humanitarian impact of airstrikes and shelling on civilians, particularly those reported in densely-populated areas, continue to compound an already dire humanitarian situation. While information is difficult to verify, local sources are reporting that hundreds of civilians, including women and children, have been killed. This response (NWSJR) will target, as a priority, IDPs newly displaced due to the increase in conflict and instability in southern Idleb and north Hama (NGCAs).
However, given the volatile situation, and experience of rapidly changing areas of control throughout this conflict, flexibility in planning has supported – while continuing to focus on areas of greatest need.
The programme will target a total of beneficiaries in the Idleb and Aleppo governates. The Joint Response will enable complementary and continued life-saving activities in the coming months, in line with cluster standards and priorities and in coordination with other actors. Possible, teams will organize joint awareness raising sessions on different topics to multiply the effect.
Based on the WASH Cluster recommendation, many settlements need supplies/services e.g. hygiene kits, water trucking/tanks, latrines, and solid waste management. JR will consult on the design/location of latrines with users, including women, elderly, and people with disabilities to identify their unique access needs. Hygiene promotion sessions alongside distribution of hygiene kits will be implemented to raise the awareness of proper practices.
Gender segregated latrines with handwashing stations will be installed. This emergency latrine design will allow for quick installation whilst still providing privacy and durability. For this, the user groups will be consulted to establish clustered household latrine blocks, a proven approach to ensure community ownership and maintenance (e.g. cleaning). Sufficient and safe water for domestic use will be provided via support to water stations in urban areas affected by large IDP influxes. Support will include staff training & salaries, pumping fuel, operations & maintenance costs. Water safety support (Aquatab distribution and community-led hygiene promotion & water quality monitoring) will ensure shelter supported households have the knowledge, good practices and tools to ensure proper hygiene and safe water practices. Hygiene promotion will occur at the time of Aquatab distribution.
Provision of tents and emergency shelter kits to newly displaced households. The kits will be provided to households with inadequate shelters and tents to households with no or overcrowded shelters. Furthermore, the JR will provide floor insulation for tents, this is a mix of brick, concrete and gravel and will act to insulate and reduce flood risk.
Protection teams will accompany WASH teams and will provide Psychological First Aid (PFA), awareness raising, identification of cases and referrals whilst WASH teams will conduct water trucking and hygiene promotion. Information desks will be established with mobile teams to ensure IDPs are aware of available services and teams will be actively screening for persons with specific needs to provide case management and referrals to other sectors. Service mapping will be in hand and updated. Case management will contain in-kind & cash support (Individual Protection Assistance) for the most vulnerable cases.
Mobile teams will be activated to provide life-sustaining information on local services and basic protection messaging to caregivers and children (prevention of separation, MRE, and child safety and safeguarding). PFA sessions will be offered to children and their families affected by conflict and displacement to develop personal wellbeing. Structured psychological-social support sessions will be provided for children and caregivers through established centres and new Child Friendly Spaces. Facilitators will also be supported to identify more severe child protection concerns, use service mapping, and make appropriate referrals (particularly for Health and WASH services). For children with mild to moderate protection concerns, trained partner case workers will receive the referrals internally, in close liaison with the area emergency focal point for Protection.
Also, the JR will provide Cash for Protection (C4P) so beneficiaries can meet the most complex and unique protection needs. These cash grants will help people to cope with shocks that cause major protection risks. C4P will target households with urgent protection needs including medical emergencies, recent eviction, children-at-risk, housing repairs to increase safety, relocation due to protection concerns, risks related to economic constraints, or extreme negative coping strategies.
Multi-Purpose Cash Grants will be given in line with the survival minimum expenditure basket, in coordination with the Cash Working Group (CWG). Vulnerability assessments will be conducted in each community through household registrations, distributions will be conducted in collaboration with multiple field-based teams, and PDMs will be conducted to measure outcomes and processes.
As an integrated response; in order to meet basic needs and thereby enhance wellbeing, the JR will distribute unconditional multi-purpose cash grants (MPC). These will be identified through clear vulnerability criteria, with prioritization of marginalized groups including female-headed and child-headed households and those caring for children with disabilities.
JR will provide running costs and pharmaceutical support for a referral hospital to ensure that facilities remain open and that beneficiaries have access to free quality health. Also, the JR will support a hospital. Support for this facility will be integrated into NWS health network of 17 facilities that are supported with running costs and supplies.
Photo credit: Violet Organization