Syria Humanitarian Overview (HSOS) North-East Syria – March 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 the security and protection situation in northeastern Syria (NES). Results for industry-specific metrics by location can be found 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 five 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 1,267 communities in the NES. Data was collected between March 2 and March 18, 2022 from 4,828 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 Centre.


In March, the results suggest that the economic crisis, combined with the triple water crisis, has aggravated the humanitarian needs of the populations of north-eastern Syria (NES). Households were particularly affected by the high cost of food, which led them to take on more debt. Rising prices for most commodities have led residents and IDPs to adopt negative coping strategies. In addition, reliable access to sufficient water remained difficult. Finally, the impact of the feed/fodder shortage has worsened with a high number of reported sudden livestock deaths.

● The existing economic crisis, combined with the ripple effect of the Ukrainian crisis in the NES, has had an additional impact on the populations of the region. The instability has exacerbated shortages, raised prices, reduced affordability and led to currency depreciation. As of March 31, the pound was at around SYP 3,865 per USD in the region, which contributed to higher commodity and raw material prices throughout the month.aHouseholds were particularly hard hit by the high cost of food associated with low purchasing power; as key informants in 82% of communities reported that households could not afford essential food items. The continued erosion of purchasing power likely pushed households into more debt, as buying food on credit/borrowing money to buy food was the most frequently reported coping strategy in times of crisis. lack of food, reported by key informants in 79% of the communities assessed.

● Due to financial stressors, households in the NES have adopted negative coping mechanisms, including child labor and early marriage, to meet basic needs. Key informants indicated that a proportion of children were sent to work in more than half of the communities (53% for residents and 62% for IDPs). Early marriage to meet basic needs was also reported in 12% of communities assessed for residents and 15% of communities assessed for IDPs.

● Reliable access to sufficient and safe water throughout the region remained a major challenge. According to HSOS data, key informants from 60% of assessed communities indicated that not all households in their community had sufficient access to water. As the water network became less reliable, households would rely more on private boreholes or wells and trucking water.b However, the high cost of trucking water was the most cited barrier to accessing water, reported by key informants in nearly 40% of communities. These costs meant that households had to spend money on water at the expense of other necessities.

● In March, the impact of the feed/fodder shortage worsened with a high number of sudden livestock deaths reported. This has forced farmers to resort to extreme measures, such as selling their livestock at lower prices.c According to HSOS data, key informants from 38% of assessed communities reported high livestock mortality as a barrier agricultural livelihoods. This is a marked increase from 33% in February. Livestock deaths are likely due to malnutrition as fodder has become unaffordable for herders. d This is due to the drought that began in late 2020 and led to the failure of green fodder crops in 2021, as well as the high cost of fodder imports.e

Donald E. Patel