Contribution to UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children in Syria 2018
This project contributes to improved access to water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), health and nutrition services for conflict-affected children and their families.
Of the total population in need of 13.1 million, in line with the 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) for Syria, UNICEF plans to reach 8.3 million people, of which 5.2 million are children. With the Austrian contribution, up to 100,000 people can gain improved access to life-saving interventions.
In line with UNICEF's Humanitarian Action for Children 2018, Austria's contribution to UNICEF of 1 million euros could reach up to 100,000 conflict-affected people in Syria with life-saving support in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and nutrition.
Of these 100,000 potential beneficiaries, up to 43,000 are estimated to be children.
UNICEF works with a diverse number of partners including international and national NGOs, and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Potential partners for this project include: Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), Syria Family Planning Association, Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) and Ministry of Local Administration and Environment (MoLAE).
The target regions are conflict-affected areas in both government and non-government controlled areas, particularly areas with high concentration of internally displaced people (IDPs).
Activities may include:
1. Emergency WASH assistance to newly displaced IDPs, e.g. through water trucking, distribution of hygiene kits, jerry cans, installation of gender appropriate emergency latrines and installation of water tanks
2. Rehabilitation and emergency repairs of WASH infrastructure to increase resilience of IDP host communities, e.g. repair of damaged water pipes, rehabilitation of ground water wells (for contingency water supplies), and repair of damaged electro-mechanical equipment in pumping stations.
3. Hygiene and sanitation promotion in areas densely populated by IDPs, e.g. through hygiene campaigns, garbage clean ups in IDP camps, provision of soap and essential hygiene items.
4. Cross-border activities reaching beneficiaries inside Syria (these activities are the same types of activities as mentioned above with the only difference being the modality of delivery (i.e. the implementation and interventions are coordinated from Amman and Gaziantep).
5. Provision of integrated health and nutrition services for women and children under-5 through local NGOs along with the needed supplies (e.g. inter-agency health kits, supporting health centres with necessary medicines and equipment, provision of therapeutic foods such as plumpy doz and high energy biscuits for malnourished children in addition to micro-nutrient supplementation for nutrient deficiencies).
Seven years into the conflict, the scale, severity and complexity of needs across Syria remains overwhelming. An estimated 13.1 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 5.3 million children. The conflict has caused about 400,000 deaths and critically damaged the public health infrastructure. Health partner assessments indicate that more than 50 per cent of public hospitals or health centres across the 14 governorates and 105 health districts have closed or only partially functional. This has significantly affected access to primary health services (including nutrition and immunization services) for children and their families, particularly in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.
Sustainable access to water is constrained, with damaged water systems unable to provide sufficient supply in many parts of the country. WASH assessments indicate that water and sewage networks require support to ensure minimum level of service. For many families with limited financial means, WASH supplies are too expensive, pushing them to adopt unsafe coping strategies. Before the start of the conflict, nearly 96 per cent of the population in Syria was served by piped water systems through municipal networks. Today the piped network only covers about 50 per cent of needs. As a result of direct conflict, damages to infrastructure, electricity cuts, deliberate water cuts and lack of spare parts for repairs it is estimated that 70 per cent of the population have irregular access to safe water. In many places, the population is accessing water from unsafe sources. As a consequence, WASH related diseases from which children are particularly vulnerable (acute diarrhea, leishmaniosis and hepatitis) are on the rise throughout the country. In areas lacking adequate water and sanitation facilities, the risk of disease epidemics remains high.