Responding to the humanitarian needs of people and ensuring the support for partners on the ground is crucial for UNHCR’s work, therefore, conducting field visits, engaging with people and expanding access to populations in need is a key function for UNHCR’s teams working in Syria.
On a course of three days from 27th to 29th of March, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency field office of Sweida governorate conducted a field-monitoring mission to Daraa governorate.
“The purpose of the visit was to follow up on our previous visit to Daraa city in early 2017, discuss our joint projects with local authorizes and partners, and to carry out an assessment visit on our work in the two towns Izraa and Sanameen.” said the Head of UNHCR’s Field Office in Sweida, Fadela Novak. “During this visit, UNHCR carried out assessments for Core Relief Items distribution, Shelter, Community Centers, Protection and Education”.
In Izraa, UNHCR’s team visited projects that were proposed for rehabilitation and needed an urgent intervention, and a school in need of rehabilitation and an extension of new classrooms. The team visited the hospital that was conceived to be a major hospital in Izraa and is in dire need of support.
“Displaced communities created pressure on the hospital of Izraa as the needs are huge and it needs urgent support”, Novak explained.
UNHCR’s team also visited a new community center launched by GOPA in 2016, and now is delivering a basket of protection services to displaced and host communities inside the city.
As of now, forty outreach volunteers are working round the clock to deliver humanitarian aid to people in need in Daraa city and Izraa, “We really need to support and build the capacity of those volunteers to reach out to remote communities around Izraa city”, Novak said.
The kind of assistance differs among Daraa city, Izraa and Sanameen. In Daraa city, the priority is shelter rehabilitation as the city is overcrowded, while, Izraa’s priority is supporting our partners’ capacity as well shelter and school rehabilitation. In Sanameen, there is a need to reinforce our presence; “We are going to establish a new community centre capable of delivering general-in-kind assistance to both displaced and host communities.”
“The level of poverty is huge, so, Livelihood programs are now priorities for the three areas, Daraa’ city, Izraa and Sanameen”
Given the subsequent demands, what is needed, are long-term integrated programming and community-level initiatives. UNHCR strives to create job opportunities through providing the appropriate vocational training for people of concern, or through giving them small business grants to help them start up own businesses, or through giving them livelihood kits which include essential tools needed by some profession. This will open a window of opportunity for them and assist them in acquiring gainful employment.
UNHCR aims to contribute to the resilience building of affected people so they can overcome the negative consequences of the crisis and maintain a descent standard of living, “The level of poverty is huge, so, Livelihood programs are now priorities for the three areas, Daraa’ city, Izraa and Sanameen as well as WASH and health.”, Novak said.
In numbers- UNHCR’s Key Achievements in Daraa
In 2016, UNHCR in close collaboration with five partners working on the ground in Daraa governorate including GOPA, Syria Trust, SARC, DRC and SIF had reached: