Syria: Household-level study assesses critical humanitarian needs in Aleppo

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The conflict in Syria which broke out in 2011 spread to the Aleppo Governorate almost a year later in early 2012. As a result of ongoing fighting, Aleppo- the largest city in Syria- has become fractured between a regime-held “western” section and an opposition-controlled “eastern” section. In March 2015, REACH conducted a household-level humanitarian needs assessment within eastern Aleppo, with a focus on food security and livelihoods.

The findings of the assessment reveal that a quarter of households were either ‘marginally’ (23%) or ‘severely’ (2.5%) food insecure based on the Food Security Index, a measure which takes into account household expenditure on food, food consumption, and the use of coping mechanisms. The vast majority of households reported that they depended on a combination of work and humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs, with income from employment alone being insufficient to make ends meet in many cases.

Nearly two-thirds (66%) of eastern Aleppo’s residents reported facing difficulties in accessing drinking water, which was reported by households as a top priority need. A large proportion of households in eastern Aleppo also lacked access to health care and education. The conflict has had a serious impact on Aleppo’s school system, with many schools destroyed or closed.  As a result, many children were not attending school, with up to 43% of households reporting at least one boy out of school and 37% at least one girl.

The study sought to assess critical humanitarian needs in those areas of eastern Aleppo that are accessible to international humanitarian agencies. Crucial information gaps persist, particularly vis-à-vis the functionality of markets, the scope of the labour market and income-generating opportunities, and the extent of existing aid distribution. Nevertheless, the assessment can assist humanitarian actors to provide targeted assistance to address specific needs and vulnerabilities identified in Syria’s largest city.

Read the full report here.

Image: A small food store in Aleppo’s opposition-held al-Maadi neighborhood.