06 September 2021

2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview: Syrian Arab Republic

Syria remains one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies characterized by ongoing hostilities which have killed hundreds of thousands of people, triggered one of the worst displacement crises of our time, and led to the widespread destruction of civilian and agricultural infrastructure, including homes, schools, health facilities, water supply and irrigation systems. Today, 13.4 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance - a 21 per cent increase compared to 2020 - with needs increasingly being exacerbated by economic decline. The decade-long crisis has inflicted immense suffering on the civilian population who have experienced massive and systematic violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including more than 1,350 attacks on education and medical facilities and related personnel, bombardment which has caused over 12 million people to flee their homes, and arbitrary detention, abduction, torture as well as other serious abuses. Almost 12,000 children have been killed or injured since 2011, and 47 per cent of young people have had a member of their immediate family or close friend die. With around half of Syria’s children having known nothing but a lifetime of crisis - 2.45 million of whom were estimated to be out of school in 2020 alone - an entire generation is at risk of being lost. Long-standing and deep-rooted trauma, much of which remains unaddressed, means a mental health crisis looms large. While large-scale hostilities have reduced compared to the peak of the crisis, with frontlines not having shifted in a year, frequent mutual shelling and rocket fire continues to be observed along contact lines, often causing civilian casualties. The economy has experienced irreparable harm since the crisis began, with the gross domestic product having declined by 60 per cent and the government increasingly unable to raise sufficient revenue to subsidize essential commodities such as fuel and bread on which the most vulnerable families rely. The Syrian pound is in virtual free fall having lost 78 per cent of its value since October 2019, while price increases for staple goods are at an all-time high. More than 90 per cent of the population is now estimated to live below the poverty line. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this economic downturn by further reducing already sparse income-generating opportunities in a context where 50 per cent of the work age population is now estimated unemployed, and curtailing women and children’s access to critical services such as reproductive health and malnutrition screening. Remittances, on which millions of Syrians and particularly internally displaced people rely are understood to have halved, from US$1.6 billion in 2019 to US$800 million in 2020, due to global and regional economic contraction. COVID-19 has also impacted an already debilitated health system in which half of health facilities are partially or non-functional. People in need 13.4m Humanitarian needs:      76 explosive incidents per day on average in 2020 50% of health workers to have fled the country 90% of the population live below the poverty line, and upto 65% live in extreme poverty compared to 60% in 2019. Impact: 28 attacks on health facilities and 61 attacks on schools and education personnel in 2020 813 incidents of recruitment and use of children for combat verified by UN in 2020 58% and 53% hospital and PHCC are functional respectively. 6.7m internally displaced people 236% price increase of the average food basket between 2019-2020.