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Syrian Arab Republic: Cross Border Humanitarian Reach and Activities from Turkey - Feb 2020 [EN]


Hostilities continued to escalate in northwest Syria in February, particularly around the M4 and M5 highways in Idleb and western Aleppo governorates. Government of Syria forces took control of dozens of communities, including key locations such as Saraqab, Aleppo city, and the M5 highway. Turkey launched a new military operation, partly in response to casualties among their soldiers in the area. 
Airstrikes and shelling killed some 187 people, including 54 children and 35 women, and injured some 353 people, including 88 children and 65 women . The high number of civilian casualties was due to hostilities affecting civilian sites, including schools, markets, bakeries, hospitals, health facilities, and IDP camps/settlements. Several hospitals and health centres in Idleb governorate stopped, suspended or reduced operations. Civilians attempting to flee the violence were on several occasions affected by aerial and artillery bombardments.
Mass displacement continued at some of the highest levels since the start of the Syrian conflict. Some 752,131 people were displaced, of whom some 80% were women and children. This included some 143,000 people displaced within three days from 9 February. Most people moved to Dana, Maaret Tamsrin, Idleb city and Salqin in Idleb governorate, while tens of thousands of others moved to areas in northern Aleppo governorate, mainly Afrin, A’zaz and Al Bab. By 23 February, some 948,000 people had been displaced since 1 December 2019, of whom 17,000 were reportedly living under trees and in open spaces, some 135,000 in individual tents, and 163,000 in unfinished houses or buildings. Shelter, non-food items, cash, food and protection assistance remained the most urgent needs. 
Severe winter weather worsened conditions across the area. Precipitation, temperatures below freezing, and heavy snowfall exacerbated the already harsh conditions, particularly for those sheltering in camps, informal settlements or unfinished buildings. Several children were reported to have died following exposure to cold weather.
Despite a temporary suspension of the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing on 27 February due to hostilities, 927 trucks transported UN humanitarian assistance via the Bab Al-Hawa and Bab Al-Salam crossings throughout February, in addition to NGO humanitarian transshipments which are estimated to be much higher. 


People reached numbers reported are for February-2020 only.

Education cluster provided children and adolescents with regular self-learning materials and digital learning materials, provision/rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities in TLS/ schools, Rehabilitation of learning centers, incentives/allowances for teaching staff, non-formal education (NFE), professional development to teaching staff (active learning, self-learning, life skills), textbooks, life skills based trainings, basic education materials, psychological support and recreational activities, provision of fuel for heating in learning centers and teaching kits, develop & strengthen M&E capacities of education actors, early childhood education (ECE) / early childhood development (ECD) and awareness raising campaigns.

Early Recovery cluster: Since the beginning of the year (January 2020),  Early Recovery partners reached 161,836 direct beneficiaries in 27 subdistricts and 43 communities.  In particular, 146,080 directly benefitted from the rehabilitation of access to basic utilities (electricity, gas, water, sewage), 6,473 from entrepreneurial activities and 3, 865 from regular employment accessed.  The remaining ER activities mainly focused on the short-term work opportunities provided from which 2,766 directly benefitted and on vocational and skills training provided for 2,305 direct beneficiaries, 250 benefitted from basic housing repair support.  29,216 HHs benefitted from the rehabilitation of basic utilities (electricity, gas, water, sewage), 2,447 m3 solid and waste removed while 11 local public service providers were provided capacity and equipment support.

FSL cluster: In February 2020, a total of 1,377,477 beneficiaries were reached with food baskets (through in kind, cash or voucher); 627,149 beneficiaries reached with emergency food rations (RTEs [ready to eat rations], cooked meals and one-off food basket); 113,715 beneficiaries reached with mixed food items, 1,110,711 beneficiaries reached with bread/flour distribution
FSL Cluster reached In January to February 2020 207,100 beneficiaries with agriculture and livelihoods.

Shelter cluster provided rental assistance, construction materials/tools, emergency shelter kits (e.g. tents) and emergency shelter; also rehabilitation of private housing and collective centers. Moreover, shelter cluster provided information/counselling on housing, land & property rights.

NFI cluster provided NFI kits (in-kind, cash, voucher) and training of stakeholders on resilience oriented NFI skills and capacities.

WASH cluster reached beneficiaries with water provision via existing networks, water trucking and private boreholes, household water treatments, maintenance/ cleanings of communal sewage, construction or rehabilitation of communal latrines and household, Solid waste management, hygiene kits distribution, hygiene promotion and vector control. Assitance was provided at the community, camp, collective center and school levels.

Nutrition cluster: Since the beginning of 2020, 24 Nutrition Cluster partners provided life-saving nutrition services covering 109 communities in 32 sub-districts. The delivery platforms were both static sites and 65 Rapid Response Teams (RRTs). Those reached included: treatment of 265 cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 749 cases of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) among children 6-59 months, and 863 cases of acutely malnourished pregnant and lactating women (PLW); 9,201 children 6-35 months received lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) for prevention of chronic and acute malnutrition; 7,533 displaced children 6-59 months and PLW received high-energy biscuits for prevention of acute malnutrition; 18,313 children 6-59 months and PLW received micronutrient supplements; 23,007 mothers and care givers were reached with messages and counselling on appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E).

Protection cluster provided awareness raising through campaigns and contact initiatives, case management, child protection and psychosocial support, including parenting programmes, develop community level referral pathways, legal assistance, material/cash assistance, outreach activities, psychosocial support, recreation and early childhood development kits, risk education, specialised child protection services, training of front line responders and humanitarian actors, women and girls accessing safe spaces and other socio-economic support.
GBV SC: actors continued to distribute dignity kits, reaching 38,881 women and girls of reproductive age since the beginning of December. In order to effectively respond to the ongoing emergency, the GBV SC coordination team supported 7 members in updating their respective exit plans and ensuring compliance with GBV standards. The GBV SC finalized a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation toolkit aimed at ensuring GBV M&E processes are conceptualized, executed and utilized in a safe and ethical manner.

CCCM cluster tracked 1,023,176 IDPs and has coordinated the provision of lifesaving multi-sectoral response to 1,102,077 IDPs in February 2020.

Health cluster reached 731,874 outpatient consultations; 11,131 people with referrals; supported 14,547 people with physical rehabilitation and supported  6,794 people with mental health consultations in February 2020.


Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
29 Feb 2020
Map/Infographic Type: 
Information Management
Coordination hub(s): 
Syria: Crisis 2011-2020