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Health Sector Syria – Health Sector Bulletin – April 2022 – Syrian Arab Republic


Key messages from the HCT for the Brussels VI conference, 9-10 May (source: HCT Syria)

  • The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. Today, 14.6 million people inside the country are in need of humanitarian assistance, an increase of 1.2 million from 2021. Most of them are women and children who, despite incredible strength and resilience, face a bleak future and increasingly dire living conditions. The Syrian people need continued international solidarity and support more than ever.

  • The rapid increase in needs is due to a deepening economic crisis, continued displacement and climatic shocks, including one of the worst droughts in years, as well as the impact of a decade conflict that has damaged or destroyed much of the country’s public infrastructure. and services. This situation is further exacerbated by chronic shortages of electricity and fuel which compromise the functionality of essential services, livelihoods and the provision of assistance. Some fear that the war in Ukraine will lead to further deterioration.

Side event on health and the impact of the socio-economic crisis in Syria

An important side event on health and the impact of the socio-economic crisis in Syria will be organized by WHO in partnership with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the United Nations Development Programme. The event will take place on May 6, at 10:00 a.m. Brussels time, on the sidelines of the Brussels VI Conference on Syria.

This virtual side event will be hosted on Zoom. Please find registration details in the attachments. The general public will be able to follow the event live on:

Twitter (English): www.twitter.com/WHOEMRO Facebook (Arabic): www.facebook.com/WHOEMRO YouTube (French): www.youtube.com/whoemr

For the Q&A session of this side event, you are invited to submit your questions in advance to Kevin Cook, WHO Regional Communications Manager for this event at [email protected] The Q&A session will be “live”, but with a limited time to answer all questions, so it’s encouraged to provide yours before the event.

  • The impact on the Syrian people is devastating and families are increasingly pushed into destitution. Over 90% of Syrians now live in poverty and food insecurity has reached record levels, with 12 million people going hungry every day. Levels of acute and chronic malnutrition are alarming and continue to rise. Around 5.5 million children under five and pregnant and lactating women are in urgent need of nutritional assistance.

  • The situation is aggravated by a severe water crisis due to the worst drought in recent years, reduced flow in the Euphrates and major fuel shortages for power plants as well as compromised capacity of infrastructure and hydraulic installations, many of which were destroyed or damaged during the crisis. About half of the total population continues to depend on alternative and often unsanitary water sources to meet or supplement their water needs.

  • The country’s health system continues to face concurrent emergencies and chronic challenges due to capacity and resource gaps. This situation is further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, 12.2 million people need life-saving health services. These include those with poor physical and mental health as well as those with limited access to health services.

  • Due to significant gaps in the education sector, nearly one in two children (about 2.5 million children out of about 5.52 million) is out of school. These children are at risk and fall prey to child labor, early and forced marriage, trafficking and recruitment by armed actors. About 48% of schools are still not functioning for various reasons, including inaccessibility and structural damage. Investments in the rehabilitation and restoration of educational institutions remain a key priority.

  • Civilians continue to be exposed to recurrent hostilities, resulting in casualties, forced displacement and heightened security risks. Gender-based violence (GBV) and safety risks for children have increased over the past year. Harassment, domestic and family violence, early and forced marriage and subsequent pregnancies, and sexual abuse and exploitation are constantly reported, while new trends, such as various forms of technology-facilitated violence, have also been observed. The risk of exposure to explosive devices also remains very high, with one in two people estimated to be at risk. Today, 14.2 million Syrians need protection assistance. More than half of them (7.3 million) need VLG services. However, the protection response continues to be undermined by serious funding shortfalls.

  • Syria continues to face both an internal displacement and refugee crisis. The growing vulnerability of the refugee population is worrying. Initiating and intensifying existing efforts to find durable solutions for displaced persons remains a key priority.

  • Humanitarian actors are concerned about the unstable context in northwest and northeast Syria which continues to limit access to certain areas and people in need. Continued access to all people who need help is essential. We commend the efforts made by all actors to facilitate our access to people in need of assistance and continue to seek the support of all relevant actors, including donors, to secure and protect the humanitarian space.

  • In northeast Syria, solutions are urgently needed for foreign nationals residing in camps, especially women and children residing there. Member States should repatriate their nationals and/or use their influence to support repatriations from countries with the highest number of cases.

  • In 2021, humanitarian organizations assisted an average of 7.3 million people per month. However, this translates to roughly half of the people needing help. Millions more people in need are therefore left without much-needed assistance, as funding shortfalls continue to undermine response capacities across all sectors. In 2021, the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was only 46% funded. Unless appropriate response interventions are scaled up and sustained, needs are expected to continue to increase over the next year.

  • A humanitarian response alone, however, will not address the structural drivers of humanitarian need. To reach people in need with large-scale assistance, the Syria Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) calls for the scaling up of a more innovative and strategic early recovery response, as stipulated in strategic objective three of the HRP 2022-2023 for Syria.

  • In addition, participatory local-level resilience interventions that complement immediate and life-saving humanitarian assistance will gradually reduce beneficiaries’ dependence on all forms of external assistance. A resilience-focused approach ensures greater long-term return on investment by improving the urban and rural livelihoods of vulnerable populations and improving sustainable, equitable and safe access to essential basic services in areas of greatest need. very important.

  • In 2022, to support the humanitarian response and continue to reach vulnerable communities, the humanitarian community needs $4.4 billion. We also encourage donors to consider funding the Syrian Humanitarian Fund (SHF), which provides timely, flexible and principled support to international and local partners.

  • We renew our calls for additional resources to bolster Syria’s emergency relief operations, and count on your support to continue to keep Syria on the international radar as part of efforts to ensure that the gains we have achieved so far are holding up. Timely, sustained, increased, flexible and longer-term funding cycles from traditional and new donors will prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.