Northwest Syria Earthquake | Bi-Weekly Situation Report

March 7, 2023
Bi-Weekly Situation Report

*This report is a product of the DEEP Remote Analysis Team comprising analysts and other professionals from Data Friendly Space (DFS). DFS wants to acknowledge the significant contributions of its staff to the analytical process, as well as their roles in the publication and finalisation of this report. The DEEP Remote Analysis Team has worked to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the findings presented herein. DFS appreciates the collaborative effort in bringing forth this comprehensive report, reflecting the combined expertise of all teams involved.

Key Developments

Priority geographical areas: The earthquakes severely affected northwest Syria, home to about 4.5 million people. The districts with the highest number of deaths and injuries are Harim, followed by Afrin and Jisr-Ash-Shugur.

Priority needs: Priority needs include healthcare and psychosocial support (including ambulances and medicine such as antipyretic painkillers and antibiotics for children), shelter and non-food items (tents, isolation sheets, blankets, tarpaulins, mattresses and hygiene kits, including for women and girls and heating), emergency food assistance and WASH (including drinking water), in addition to debris and rubble removal.

Priority affected groups: Major damage has been reported in northern Syria, with 2.9 million people affected in the northwest. 302,500 people are estimated to have been displaced, either within or from their community in the northwest. As 4% of people in need before the earthquake in NW Syria were elderly and 17% had a disability, these groups are particularly vulnerable to the ongoing crisis and could face specific access challenges. Female heads of households, unaccompanied and separated children and children heads of households were also frequently identified.

Access: As of 4 March, a total of 583 trucks loaded with aid provided by six UN agencies have so far crossed to north-west Syria since the earthquakes. On 2 March, a total of 35 trucks crossed the Bab Al-Hawa, Bab Al Salameh and Al Ra’ee border crossings with humanitarian aid provided by FAO, UNHCR, WFP and WHO. The total number of trucks by border crossing points are: 473 through Bab Al Hawa, 91 through Bab Al Salam and 19 through Al Ra’ee.

Shelter/NFIs: At least 15,000 buildings are reported destroyed or damaged, mostly in Harim and Afrin, leaving at least 11,000 families homeless in northwest Syria. 900,000 people are in urgent need of shelter assistance across the country, with 509,000 people targeted.

Health: Already strained health facilities are being overwhelmed by the number of casualties, with estimates as high as 12,400 people injured. 55 health facilities were partially or fully damaged and medical, surgical equipment are limited as well as ICU beds. Needs are increasing in terms of cholera (50,000 suspected cases), malnutrition and mental health support.

WASH: Limited access to WASH services in earthquake-affected areas puts people at risk of waterborne diseases, with 64% of those affected having WASH needs and over 80% requiring hygiene kits according to initial estimates from WASH partners.

Protection: Protection is a growing issue, with a large number of unaccompanied children Update #13 | 07 of March 2023 3 and overcrowded shelters, sexual harassment and inadequate shelter arrangements remains a concern. Loss of documentation is another issue since the earthquake. Psychological first aid and psychosocial support are primary needs.

Food: Markets are generally accessible according to KIs in about 80% of communities.
Increased item unavailability reported in Ariha and Janudiyeh sub-districts. Shortages of food items in Idleb and surrounding areas had been reported. There is a reduced storage capacity mostly due to insecurity. High food insecurity levels were however reported, with mothers facing major difficulties to get infant formula.

Livelihoods: Agriculture production capacities have been disrupted, with households facing additional challenges to access income and a loss of purchasing power. Access to markets is reported as challenging, with 7% of communities without access, and shortages of both food and non-food items in many areas. The demand for credit in stores has increased.

Education: 20 schools are currently being used to host IDPs (1260 households), with nearly 40% of schools reported damaged (323 educational facilities), along with the need for psychosocial support for teachers and pupils. Schools need to be fully assessed and rehabilitated with debris removed before safe return of children in damaged schools.
Attendance rates in schools that have reopened are extremely low.

Logistics: Fuel is missing in highly affected communities, urgently needed for transportation and heating. Weak internet communication and damages to the electricity grid are hampering the response.

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