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The HNO for Syria is produced by OCHA on behalf of the Strategic Steering Group and humanitarian partners working under the Whole of Syria framework. The document highlights the most pressing humanitarian needs facing affected communities in Syria, as well as the estimated number of people in need of assistance. This version was originally published on 1 March 2019.

The humanitarian needs of people in Syria remain extensive after nearly eight years of conflict. As a result of continued hostilities, protracted displacement, increasing rates of return, as well as the erosion of social cohesion and communities’ resilience, an estimated 11.7 million people were –

at the end of 2018 – in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, with 5 million of those in acute need. From this 11.7 million, an estimated 5 million are children. Further to this, an estimated 6.2 million people remained internally displaced.

Although there has been a reduction in violence in part of Syria over the past year, the country remains a major protection crisis. While hostilities often have an immediate and direct impact on the lives of civilians, either through death and injury or through destruction of both private property and infrastructure, the protracted nature of the conflict also contributes to the depletion of Syrians’ socioeconomic resources. This in turn triggers negative coping strategies such as child labour and child marriage.

Access to livelihoods and essential basic services also remains a pressing concern to affected communities inside Syria. Basic services such as health, shelter, food, education, water and sanitation are lacking across large parts of the country. According to estimates 83% of Syrians lived below the poverty line in 2015 and recent evidence points to a further worsening situation.

The political and security landscape in Syria is likely to remain challenging throughout 2019. Key concerns will include the conditions facing Syrians living in IDP sites, the needs of host communities sharing their limited resources with displaced people, as well as natural hazards. In addition to this, funding-related cuts to assistance to Palestinian refugees living in Syria will threaten the security and livelihoods of affected communities.