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An Uncertain Future: Fragility and Humanitarian Priorities in Northeast Syria

Refugees International, (2019)

After almost eight bloody years, the war in Syria finally appears to be reaching the endgame. The Assad regime controls some two-thirds of the country. In the northwest, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has launched an offensive against opposition-controlled Idlib governorate under the cover of a brutal Russian bombing campaign. Upwards of 3 million Syrians in Idlib are under threat. Meanwhile, in northeast Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces—the Syrian Kurdish dominated militia backed by the United States—have dislodged the Islamic State and now control one-third of the country. However, the humanitarian situation in the northeast remains extremely fragile and could deteriorate quickly. Indeed, over a third of the 4 million people in this area need humanitarian assistance and some 600,000 are displaced.

Humanitarian Response Plan Achievements January-December 2018

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), (2019)

The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) aimed to assist 10.5 million people with direct assistance and 11.2 million people with improved access to basic services. In an effort to meet humanitarian needs, humanitarian partners provided various types of humanitarian life-saving and life-sustaining assistance and services to a monthly average of 5.5 million people during 2018. Of the 5.5 million people reached on average on a monthly basis, 2.1 million were people living in areas of high severity of need, as measured through the inter-sector severity scale. In 2018, these efforts were funded by international support to Syria with $2.19 billion raised (65 per cent of HRP requirements) by the end of the year – more than any previous year. Thanks to this generous support, humanitarian organisations in Syria continued to deliver a massive humanitarian response to people in need with multiple humanitarian crises unfolding across the country.

Principled Aid in SyriaA Framework for International Agencies

Haid Haid, (2019)

Research Paper. As the fighting in Syria winds down, international humanitarian organisations (IHOs) operating from Damascus are hopeful that the Syrian government’s interference in their work will decrease. However, the government is attempting to formalise its influence over humanitarian operations. Throughout the Syrian conflict, the government has imposed multiple administrative processes on humanitarian organisations to limit their ability to operate independently. This includes restricting the operational environment; undermining organisational independence; imposing local partners; influencing procurement procedures; and preventing direct monitoring and evaluation. While some level of coordination with the government might be a pragmatic necessity to ensure the safety of operations in regime-controlled areas, this cooperation should not enable the government to use aid for military or political purposes. Consequently, international humanitarian organisations have an ethical dilemma in how they provide aid in these areas without undermining their principles of humanity, independence, impartiality and neutrality.

Assessment of the health needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Syria’s neighboring countries

El Arnaout, N., Rutherford, S., Zreik,, et al., (2019)

Health needs of displaced Syrians in refugee hosting countries have become increasingly complex in light of the protracted Syrian conflict. The primary aim of this study was to identify the primary health needs of displaced Syrians in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria.

WFP Syria North - Western Syria Emergency Situation Report 5 (6 August 2019)

World Food Program, Eds.: WFP, (2019)

The security and humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate across north-western Syria due to ongoing fighting between government and non-state armed group forces. Large scale population movements and casualties continued to be reported as a result of the surge in conflict, with at least 450 civilian casualties reported since late April according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan 2019-2020 - In Response to the Syria Crisis

UN Development Programme, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, (2018)

UN and partners launch plan to support Syrian refugees and countries hosting them as number of Syrian refugee new-borns reaches one million mark

Syrian Arab Republic Recent Developments in Northwestern Syria Situation Report No. 8 - as of 26 July 2019

OCHA , Eds.: OCHA , (2019)

• Violence in northwest Syria continues unabated, which is taking a heavy toll on the three million civilians who live in the area. Since the end of April, hundreds of civilians are killed by airstrikes and shelling, while many more have been injured. • Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes to escape the violence. The majority of those who are displaced are moving to densely-populated areas where humanitarian assistance is over-stretched.

Syrian Arab Republic Recent Developments in Northwestern Syria Situation Report No. 7 - as of 12 July 2019

OCHA, Eds.: OCHA, (2019)

The conflict in northwest Syria is exacting a heavy toll on civilians as the hostilities in the Idleb de-escalation zone between the Government of Syria (GoS) and allied forces and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) continue. Heightened levels of violence have continued unabated for more than two months, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, disrupting the provision of basic services, and killing and injuring large numbers of civilians. The humanitarian impact of airstrikes and shelling on civilians, particularly those reported to be taking place in densely populated areas, continues to compound an already dire humanitarian situation. Local sources are reporting that hundreds of civilians, including women and children, have been killed due to airstrikes and shelling and many others have been

WFP Syria North - Western Syria Emergency Situation Report 4 (16 July 2019)

World Food Program, Eds.: WFP, (2019)

Highlights • The security situation in north-western Syria continues to deteriorate as fighting between Syrian government forces and non-state armed groups continues in full force. • Since 1 May, WFP has provided life-saving emergency food assistance to more than 233,000 people across north-western Syria. • WFP increased the number of people targeted for General Food Assistance (GFA) in north-western Syria to a new total of 933,000 people in July.

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