X-Border Operation - Turkey Hub

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The Shelter and Non-Food Items Cluster (S/NFI Cluster) in Southern Turkey is led by UNHCR, coordinating the efforts of 143 member organizations in the Cross Border Operation. The working group has been established at the beginning of the conflict and has been led by UNHCR on July 2014 under the first UN Security Resolution 2165. The Cross Border Operation has been clusterized on March 2015 and covers northwest Syria.

As per the 2020 HNO, 5.65M people are in need of Shelter, 3.42M people are in need of NFIs and are targeted by the Shelter and Non-Food Items sector through the Whole of Syria Secretariat.  

The Cluster convenes monthly meetings and technical working groups and addresses shelter and NFI needs by providing in-kind assistance as well as non-conditional/conditional cash or voucher. The cluster supports people in need within displaced, hosting and non-displaced populations through the provision of new arrival kits, construction material, emergency shelter kits during the emergency response and through the rehabilitation of private shelters and collective centers on the medium and longer-term.

Moreover, the Shelter and Non-Food Items Cluster have established a technical working group. Through this group, the Cluster capacitates the membership with the guidance on minimum standards and researches shelter alternative solutions.

The Information Management Unit provides assistance in addressing operational gaps, avoiding overlaps with the other hubs through the Whole of Syria Secretariat, assisting UNHCR in the sector-oriented assessment through the desk and secondary data review and delivering IM training to local organizations.

The Cluster reaches in average 178,000 individuals per month mainly through NFI, Shelter and winter assistance inside North West Syria.

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March 2020


Major Developments in North-West Syria
Over 2.8 million IDPs are living in north-west Syria, including 960,000 people have who have been newly displaced since December as a consequence of the latest escalation in conflict.
Shelter options are extremely limited and many IDPs resort to inadequate types of shelter. According to HNAP, 44% of IDPs use tents as shelter, around 9% are staying in substandard shelter, most of which are unfinished buildings; and 3% of IDPs have found public buildings, like schools, to be the only shelter option, thereby disrupting the provision of public services.
  • Response
Shelter/Non-Food Item (SNFI) Cluster members continue to actively respond to the needs of the newly displaced population as well as protracted IDPs in north-west Syria. Around 355,000 individuals, both IDPs and host community members, were assisted with NFI and/or shelter in March. In coordination with the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster, SNFI Cluster members are trying to identify more land to extend the perimeter of existing camps.
In March, almost 200,000 individuals received NFI kits, which contain kitchen sets, mattresses and blankets, as well as winter items. Shelter needs of around 159,000 people were addressed with activities including emergency and/or seasonal shelter assistance and shelter rehabilitation. Of those, more than 86,000 individuals were assisted with the provision of emergency shelter, which includes family tents or shelter kits.
Between October 2019 and March 2020, the SNFI Cluster reached close to 818,000 IDPs with winterization activities, almost two months earlier than last year.
The SNFI Cluster is actively coordinating with the Health and WASH Clusters to respond to the needs of the IDP population in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hygiene measures, in line with recommended WASH practices specific for COVID-19, are promoted during assistance distributions to reduce the risk of transmission. The SNFI Cluster has encouraged its members to provide hygiene kits together with NFI kits and has recommended to add soap. In addition, the SNFI Cluster identified tents to be used as isolation units.
The SNFI Cluster has also developed and widely shared its recommendations to mitigate the risks related to the COVID-19 outbreak for shelter and NFI activities.

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Coordination Team