Syria reported its first covid-19 cases a week ago — and has now reported its first coronavirus deaths. But many analysts say the total of cases is much higher, noting independent reports of coronavirus-like cases in Damascus, Tartus, Latakia, Homs and Deir-Ezzor.
How does a country engaged in civil war for the past decade face the coronavirus challenge? The United Nations special envoy called for an immediate cease-fire to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the conflict-ridden country — but no single authority can implement a cease-fire. And Syria’s fragmented and limited health services may leave many regions with little or no outside assistance to fight covid-19 outbreaks.… Seguir leyendo »
In April, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) discussed centralizing aid operations for Syria to Damascus. While no decision was formally made, various donor states protested the suggested action, which would result in the closure of OCHA’s humanitarian coordinator position in Amman, dealing a significant blow to the cross-border humanitarian operation.
Humanitarian actors in intrastate conflicts across the globe increasingly find themselves caught between the interests of competing political and military interests of states, complicating the implementation of relief actions. In Myanmar and Yemen, the obstruction of humanitarian access and delivery of aid to civilians in need has become a primary tactic of states to battle and defeat opposition forces.… Seguir leyendo »
In July, a Russian strategy was introduced to facilitate the return of more than 1.7 million refugees to Syria, where 6.2 million people remain internally displaced. The United Nations projects the return of 250,000 refugees this year. Increasingly anti-refugee policies in western states and the reduction of Syrian refugees resettled annually from 2016 to 2018 have placed significant financial and domestic political pressures on host countries in the region. As a result, heightened domestic fears in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey of permanent integration are coinciding with a reported increase in deportations since 2017.
With resettlement increasingly less possible and the domestic instability surrounding fears of naturalization, the regional and global push for the return of Syrian refugees is underway.… Seguir leyendo »