Syria Humanitarian Overview (HSOS): Greater Idlib region, February 2022 – Syrian Arab Republic

Introduction and methodology

HSOS is a monthly assessment that provides comprehensive, multi-sectoral information on humanitarian conditions and priority needs in Syria. This fact sheet presents a thematic review based on the HSOS assessment of priority needs and humanitarian assistance, economic conditions, living conditions, access to basic services, the COVID-19 situation and of the security and protection situation in the Greater Idlib region in northwestern Syria (NWS). The results of the sectoral indicators by location are available on the HSOS Dashboard.

The assessment is conducted using a community-level key informant (KI) methodology. REACH investigators are based in Syria and interview three to six key informants per location assessed, either directly or remotely (by phone). Key informants are chosen based on their community-level and sector-specific knowledge. This fact sheet presents information gathered from 371 communities in the greater Idlib region. Data was collected between February 6 and February 22, 2022 from 1,317 key informants (18% women). Unless otherwise specified in an endnote, all indicators refer to the situation in the 30 days preceding the data collection. The results are indicative rather than representative and should not be generalized to the entire population and region. Results calculated based on a subset of the community are indicated by the following footnote ♦, each subset being specified in the endnotes.

The full monthly HSOS dataset is available on the REACH Resource Center.


In February, communities in Greater Idlib recovered from harsh winter conditions and continued to be affected by economic deterioration, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing insecurity. The extreme weather conditions have probably had an impact on the accommodation conditions of the displaced populations. In addition, households are struggling to meet their basic needs, due to the continuous rise in the prices of food and basic necessities. Finally, the reduction in aid to health services has been accompanied by an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

  • The impact of extreme weather conditions in previous months has affected both residents and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Greater Idlib. Wintering was one of the top priority needs reported for both IDPs and residents, for the third consecutive month. Months of extreme weather conditions have likely affected the shelter conditions of IDPs, which likely explains why key informants in 51% of communities assessed listed shelter as one of the priority needs of IDPs, compared to 48 % in January. Heating fuel was in high demand by both residents and displaced people, with lack of heating being reported as insufficient housing in more than half of the communities assessed. To cope with the lack of heating, communities have engaged in negative coping mechanisms such as burning hazardous materials for heating.

  • Household purchasing power continued to decline due to rising prices. The value of Minimum Survival Expenditure Basket (SMEB) items fell from SYP 510,568 in January to SYP 528,226 in February, mainly due to its food and cooking fuel components. Connected, key informants from 85% of assessed communities indicated that affordability was the main barrier to accessing sufficient food. Just under a quarter of the communities assessed indicated that food was the first priority need for IDPs.

  • Health services in Greater Idlib continued to be at risk following major funding cuts. The health sector in Greater Idlib lacks self-financing and depends on the support provided by international donors through humanitarian and international organizations operating in the region. Funding from a number of donors stopped in September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and fatigue with the decade-old Syrian war. In January, support was halted for 18 medical facilities providing services to more than 1.5 million people.g While specialist health facilities are concentrated in a few places in the region, the need to travel to accessing health care led to two main barriers: high cost and lack of transportation, reported by key informants in 84% and 69% of communities assessed, respectively. The cuts to health services followed an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in February.

Donald E. Patel