Map of Syria
UNICEF photo: A young girl receives a dose of oral polio vaccine from a health worker at Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari Primary Health Care Centre in Damascus during the UNICEF-supported immunization campaign. © UNICEF/NYHQ2013-0924/Omar Sanadiki A young girl receives a dose of oral polio vaccine from a health worker at Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari Primary Health Care Centre in Damascus during the UNICEF-supported immunization campaign.

Syrian Arab Republic

Updated January 2014

 

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:
2.2 million

children under 5 immunized against polio

3.9 million

children access quality learning opportunities through formal and non-formal education

500,000

children and adolescents benefit from psychosocial support and protection services

10 million

people access safe drinking water

2014 Requirements: US$222,192,134

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Snapshot

Total affected population: 9.3 million
Total affected children (under 18): 4.27 million

Total people to be reached in 2014: 10 million16
Total children to be reached in 2014: 5 million17

As the conflict in Syria approaches the end of its third year, the capacity of basic social services has reached a breaking point, with devastating impacts on millions of children. Unrelenting violence, massive population displacement and damage to infrastructure and essential services have left approximately 9.3 million people,1 or 40 per cent of the population, in need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 6.5 million people2 have been displaced and are struggling to survive in increasingly desperate conditions, and 4.27 million3 children have been directly affected by the crisis. Children who have been exposed to the horrors of war and have witnessed unspeakable cruelties are suffering from psychological distress. Children are paying the heaviest price. Close to 2.3 million boys and girls in Syria are still out of school or are at risk of dropping out of school.4 Lack of access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), combined with deteriorating food security, is raising serious concerns about the nutritional status of children. Over 200,000 children under 5 may be at risk of undernutrition.5 The collapsing health care and water systems are exposing children to infectious diseases. In November 2013, Syria confirmed 17 cases of wild poliovirus, the first confirmed cases since 1999.

Humanitarian strategy

2014 programme targets

Health

  • 871,000 internally displaced children under 5 have access to primary care
  • 2,200,000 children under 5 immunized against polio
  • 1,300,000 women access maternal and child health education

WASH

  • 10,000,000 people access safe drinking water
  • 2,200,000 internally displaced persons access proper WASH items and messages
  • 300,000 schoolchildren access proper WASH facilities and education 

Child protection

  • 550,000 children (and individuals in communities) access risk education messages
  • 500,000 children and adolescents benefit from psychosocial support and protection services

Education

  • 3.9 million children access quality learning opportunities through formal and non-formal education
  • 30,000 adolescents reached with vocational and life-skills training

Nutrition

  • 550,000 children and pregnant and lactating women screened for acute malnutrition
  • 48,500 children and pregnant and lactating women treated for moderate acute malnutrition and severe acute malnutrition
  • 930,000 women reached with infant and young child feeding and nutrition counselling

In 2014, UNICEF will continue to scale up life-saving interventions, with particular focus on routine vaccinations, special campaigns for polio and management of acute malnutrition. UNICEF will also continue to respond to seasonal needs, including winterization and prevention of disease outbreaks during the summer months. To preserve the future of Syrian children, 3.9 million children will be reached with an integrated package of education, child protection and adolescent development programmes. These children will be provided with equitable access to quality education through school rehabilitation, remedial education, self-learning, early childhood development, psychosocial support and provision of school supplies, in line with the ‘No Lost Generation’ strategy. Another key priority will be to scale up WASH services, with an increased focus on prevention of water-borne diseases and hygiene promotion activities targeting communities and schools in hard-to-reach areas. Child protection programmes will continue to expand, and risk education on explosive remnants of war will be rolled out in more than 6,000 schools to reach more than 1.8 million children. UNICEF will continue to advocate for the protection and safety of all children in Syria, regardless of their location. Ongoing efforts to set up systems for independently monitoring and verifying grave child rights violations will be enhanced. As lead agency for the nutrition, education and WASH sectors, UNICEF will continue to work closely with a wide range of partners, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international NGOs, other United Nations entities and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). A key aspect of UNICEF’s strategy will be to build the capacities of SARC and other NGO partners to scale up interventions and sustain services. UNICEF will also continue to work with a network of partners on the programme response throughout Syria, with field offices in key locations; supply and service monitoring; and situation assessment to reach every Syrian child, with a particular focus on those most vulnerable in hard-to-reach areas.

Results from 2013

Based on the 2013 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP),6 UNICEF requested US$110,460,980 to meet the needs of children in Syria in 2013, and as of 14 November 2013, US$127,610,000 had been received in contributions. Despite major security and access constraints, UNICEF and partners continued to reach millions of people with life-saving services. In partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNICEF supported chlorination efforts that provided 10 million people with access to clean water to prevent the transmission of water-borne diseases and enhance access to clean water. In addition, more than 580,000 internally displaced persons were reached with soap and hygiene items. UNICEF-supported health centres and mobile health teams across Syria reached more than 367,000 children with medical check-ups, treatment and referrals; more than 2 million children under 5 were vaccinated against polio; and 2 million children under 5 were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella. Due to access constraints, however, the expansion of nutrition programmes was limited. As part of the back-to-learning campaign, UNICEF provided school bags and teaching and learning materials to benefit more than 1,000,000 children in all 14 governorates. In addition, 460,000 children and adolescents benefitted from remedial education and psychosocial support, including over 10,000 Palestinian refugee children. The deteriorating security situation in Syria triggered a rapid response to scale up operations and address the needs of additional affected populations. To address the increasing humanitarian needs in the rapidly evolving context, UNICEF and partners have continually reviewed targets and needs.

Results through 28 November 2013 unless noted

Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency 2014 Strategic Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$222,192,134 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Syria in 2014. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the scale-up of life-saving WASH, immunization, nutrition and other services to meet the increasing basic needs of Syrian children. Light rehabilitation of schools, provision of learning materials and enhanced access to psychosocial support are also urgently needed to preserve the future of these children, whose prospects are increasingly bleak.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2013 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Action Plan’, December 2013.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4
 Reported by the Syrian Ministry of Education, September 2013.
5 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2013 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Action Plan’, December 2013.
6 Inter-agency Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) led by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
7 Polio was added to this target after the outbreak in October 2013.
8 Results include an additional 1.2 million children vaccinated against polio and 361,038 children reached with measles, mumps and rubella vaccines between 24 October 2013 and 14 November 2013.
9 The 2013 targets include children under 5 in Syria.
10 UNICEF support to primary health care for children was provided through mobile medical teams in 2012. Support expanded in 2013 to include access to health services through health facilities.
11 Result as of 28 November 2013.
12 Activity with a particular focus on displaced children (representing 50 per cent of total children).
13 Capturing distributions of various hygiene items including family and baby hygiene kits, soap and other distributions.
14 This indicator is valid for the ongoing remedial classes at the schools clubs. As a continuing activity, 2013 results represent additional coverage to ongoing 2012 achieved coverage.
15 Psychosocial support is given as part of the school club activities by teacher and/or school counselors. As a continuing activity, 2013 results represent additional coverage to ongoing 2012 achieved coverage.
16 The number of people to be reached exceeds the affected population to cover all people to be provided with clean water.
17 Includes all children to be covered by health and WASH activities.