Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 14 August 2020
Syria: Humanitarian Coordinator statement on Al Hol child deaths
The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, expressed alarm in a statement yesterday over the recent deaths of eight children under the age of 5 last week in Al Hol camp, north-east Syria.
The children, who died between 6 and 10 August, were suffering from a range of illnesses, including malnutrition-related complications, dehydration from diarrhoea, heart failure, internal bleeding and hypoglycemia.
Humanitarian Coordinator Riza said that the news of the children’s deaths underscores the basic fact that no child should be forced to live under the challenging and potentially dangerous humanitarian conditions at Al Hol camp.
The UN and humanitarian partners continue to provide a range of critical assistance to Al Hol, including emergency, primary and reproductive health care, water trucking, shelter, non-food items, food and hygiene distributions, nutrition and protection.
However, access to some basic services, including regular water supply and emergency health care, has been increasingly compromised in recent months due to disruptions to water supply from the Alouk water station and COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Syria: COVID-19 update
The UN remains concerned about the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases across Syria.
To date, the Syrian Ministry of Health has confirmed 1,432 people cases, including 55 deaths.
In north-west Syria, three new cases were confirmed, bringing the total cases confirmed to 50 as of yesterday, with no deaths reported.
In north-east Syria, 34 cases were reported, including one death.
The level of testing remains extremely limited throughout Syria, with the capacity for testing throughout the country at around 350 tests per day. About 16,000 tests have been conducted in total.
As part of its COVID-19 support, the UN Syria Humanitarian Fund has commenced the disbursement of $23 million for 32 approved projects in the health, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection, food and logistics sectors.
The Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund will allocate an additional $6 million to procure essential Personal Protective Equipment for the continuation of non-health and health front-line activities.
The World Health Organization is leading UN preparedness and mitigation measures across Syria, including in the north-west and in the north-east.