DPI Syria Update No.117

Aid convoys reach four besieged towns in Syria
Three convoys of 31 aid trucks carrying medical and humanitarian supplies for 29,500 people reached Fouah and Kafraya in Syria’s Idlib Governorate, and Zabadani and Madaya in Rural Damascus Governorate on 19 October. The joint UN, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent operation was part of a ceasefire agreement reached in Istanbul on 22 September, with the facilitation of the Office of UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura. The humanitarian and medical supplies to Zabadani and surrounding towns were delivered from Damascus. Deliveries to Fouah and Kefrayah were made from UN stocks in southern Turkey, in line with the Security Council resolutions authorizing UN agencies and partners to deliver cross-border humanitarian assistance. Negotiations continue to deliver further aid and medical supplies. The United Nations and partners look forward to the implementation of the remaining points of the agreement, including the urgent evacuation of critically wounded people. The United Nations calls on the parties to facilitate these urgent life-saving and humanitarian actions.



Special Envoy de Mistura continues efforts towards de-escalation of violence
Speaking at a press briefing on 16 October, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura recently travelled to Moscow and Washington, D.C., where he held productive meetings at all levels. Mr. de Mistura and his team, in consultations with partners in the region and beyond, continue to actively pursue every possible avenue for de-escalation of violence and the acceleration of a political process.


Most displacement occurs around Aleppo, warns UNHCR
UNHCR Spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva on 20 October that following military operations, most internal displacement in Syria was happening around Aleppo. However, no surge in border crossings had been reported, she noted. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs had confirmed 35,000 new internally displaced persons around Aleppo. It was not clear, however, whether they would choose to cross the border, and whether the new wave of displacement inside the country would increase the number of refugees.


Special Coordinator for Lebanon meets Syrian refugee families
UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag visited the north Lebanon area of Akkar on 19 October. She met with authorities in Halba to discuss political and socio-economic challenges and the impact of the Syria crisis. The Special Coordinator met with Syrian refugee families in a tented site in Kweshra and visited a public school in Rama that offers classes to Lebanese and Syrian children. “Syrian refugees are facing incredibly difficult conditions far from their homes and their country,” the Special Coordinator said. “The generosity and support they receive from the residents of Akkar, who live in already difficult circumstances, has been impressive.” Ms. Kaag reaffirmed that the United Nations will continue to encourage greater assistance for both the Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese communities as a matter of urgency.


UNICEF and WHO launch nationwide vaccination campaign
UNICEF and WHO launched on 18 October a five-day immunization campaign in Syria aiming to vaccinate 3 million children against polio. The campaign is jointly organized by the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and local partners, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. It aims to reach children under the age of 5 across the country, including those who have been displaced. The current campaign is part of a comprehensive response to the polio outbreak in October 2013. No new cases have been reported since January 2014.


UN Radio in Arabic
Migrants and Syrian refugees: a long journey in pursuit of safety in Europe


Syria: Emergency aid reaches thousands of people stranded in the besieged areas


Sigrid Kaag: the generous support received by the Syrians from Akkar residents who already live in difficult conditions, impressive


UN Twitter

United Nations Retweeted UN Refugee Agency ‏@Refugees 20 October

The total number of arrivals in #Europe in 2015 via the Mediterranean is now 643,000+ http://trib.al/flYVBMM


United Nations ‏@UN 19 October United Nations Retweeted UN Spokesperson

“The current migration & refugee challenges in Europe demand resolve and generosity.” Stmt: http://j.mp/1GPhUJ5


UN News Centre ‏@UN_News_Centre 19 October 2015

Critical relief supplies delivered to thousands of people in #Syria by @UN and partners



United Nations Retweeted UN Refugee Agency ‏@Refugees 17 October

Exclusive drone footage of arrivals in #Lesbos #Greece https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBtYYMPe3yA&index=1&list=PLtPw-Y91GlmWsan9W8WPRXiAkttxVpdad … #Europe


Ongoing UN social media campaigns:


#4Syria campaign was launched on 20 March 2015 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to highlight the Syrian conflict, which has entered its fifth year. The campaign calls for an end to the conflict and seeks to raise funds for UNRWA’s programmes to support Palestinian refugees from Syria.  It features testimonies of Palestine refugees, as well as documents highlighting UNRWA’s emergency work in the region. View the campaign at: http://www.unrwa.org/syria-crisis/syria4thanniversary


#SaveYarmouk was launched in January 2015 to shed light on the grave deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yarmouk, following the escalation of fighting. The campaign includes stories and updates from Yarmouk as well as recorded voices of residents describing the challenging conditions in which they are living. With no access to regular food supplies, clean water, health care, electricity or heating fuel, Yarmouk’s civilian population is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. For those who wish to support UNRWA’s work in Syria, donation is possible through the campaign’s website: http://www.unrwa.org/crisis-in-yarmouk.


#myvoicemyschool is an educational project linking Palestinian refugee youth displaced by the Syrian conflict with their peers in England. Through live video conversations and customized teaching materials, students and teachers explore how education can meet their future aspirations. Each class will define and develop an advocacy project to promote and share their ideas.




UNICEF and its partners are committed to keeping Syrian children from becoming a ‘lost generation’. Critical efforts are being made to minimize the impact of the crisis on children – including in the life-saving areas of health, nutrition, immunization, water and sanitation, as well as in the future of children, through education and child protection.




Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria

DPI Focus Page on Syria:



UN System agencies :

UN Women: http://www.unwomen.org/

UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/media/index.html

WFP: http://www.wfp.org/countries/syria

OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria , twitter.com/ocha_syria , facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria

WHO: http://www.who.int/countries/syr/en/

UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4f86c2426.html

OHCHR: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/NewsSearch.aspx?CID=SY

UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/


UN on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/UN

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/unitednations

Tumblr: http://united-nations.tumblr.com/


Photo galleries:
UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c25d.html
UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/photogallery.php
OCHA: http://www.unocha.org/media-resources/photo-gallery
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_2013.php#UNI82253
IRIN: http://www.irinnews.org/photo/