UNICEF works across Syria focusing on areas where children and mothers are most vulnerable, responding to the immediate needs of the internally displaced people and host communities through implementing partners.
In coordination with other UN agencies such as WHO and UNFPA, UNICEF focuses on a primary health care approach through health facilities and communities. At the same time activities geared towards systems building and enhancing resilience are beginning to receive more attention.
After many years of conflict, the challenges are quite significant:
- More than half of the pre-conflict number of health facilities are not fully functional, suffering physical damage and loss of skilled health workers.
- Degradation of the health infrastructure has compromised the health status of women and children, with frequent outbreaks of communicable diseases that were hitherto under control across the country, such as polio and measles.
- The disruption of vital sectors, such as water and sanitation and pharmaceutical, as well as food insecurity have further exacerbated the precarious health situation for women and children.
- Programmatic access is still limited in some parts of Syria, due to prevailing effects of conflict in most cases.
- There is a significant deficit in terms of the availability of data and information on the status of health services and outcomes, crucial for early recovery efforts and planning.