Syria: Aleppo Humanitarian Situation Overview seeks to inform response planning amid the recent emergency crisis

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REACH is still concerned about the humanitarian situation for the more than 250,000 people trapped in eastern Aleppo.

To provide a better understanding of the changing humanitarian situation within eastern Aleppo, REACH conducted a third rapid assessment between September 2-5, three weeks after the initial overview. The last route out of the part of the city (Ramouseh road) has been closed on September 4, effectively making Eastern Aleppo City besieged.

You can read the full latest update by following this link: REACH Situation Overview: Displacement and Needs in Aleppo City, September 6 2016.

Access the previous update by following this link: REACH Situation Overview: Displacement and Needs in Aleppo City, August 30 2016.

Following successive road closures in July and early August, and the ensuing intensified conflict in and around the city of Aleppo, more than 250,000 people remain trapped in Eastern Aleppo. Continued targeting of health centres and civilian infrastructures, as well as restrictions on humanitarian assistance have drastically limited access to basic yet vital services and supplies.

On 14-16 August, REACH teams conducted a rapid assessment in Aleppo to provide timely information on populations’ intentions and triggers, humanitarian assistance, as well as top ranked priority needs. Information presented was collected by REACH staff in Syria from key informants residing in the city sectors of Masken Hanano, Kady Asker, Bustan al Qaser, Ansari, Tarek al Bab and the Kurdish area of Sheikh Maqsoud. This information will contribute to the preparation of a joint Syrian INGO Forum effort to provide an overview of the rapidly evolving situation in Aleppo.

Although populations cannot currently leave eastern Aleppo, further intensification of shelling and reduced access to water and electricity were reported triggers that could result in an estimated third of the population (85,000 people) leaving if they were able to do so. Whilst the potential opening of humanitarian corridors outside of the city may be a pre-condition for civilians leaving, it was not reported to be sufficient to trigger of movement in absence of other triggers also occurring.

Typically, aid is reportedly prevented from entering the city at all. When it does, the presence of multiple barriers reportedly prevent people from receiving assistance, notably crowding at distribution points; and the risk of such locations being targeted by shelling. Respondents indicated a community preference for distributions to be organised in multiple stages to reduce occurrence of large gatherings, or alternatively for aid to be delivered directly to homes.

Top ranked priority needs across Eastern Aleppo were: an access to secure shelter and safe spaces to minimise impact of conflict and shelling; access to water, which has deteriorated recently, manifested in limited or intermittent access; Food security, with both affordability and availability reported as issues by KIs; and Health facilities availability: when available, the functionality of health facilities has been severely affected by conflict.

The rapid assessment is part of on-going REACH efforts to continually assess the evolving situation. The information is currently being used by stakeholders to better inform the planning and implementation of the emergency response, and further assessments will be conducted based on access and security in the coming days to continue informing aid stakeholders responding to the situation in Aleppo and surrounding areas.

The situation overview can be found on the following link: REACH Situation Overview: Intentions and Needs in Aleppo City, August 18 2016