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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September 2021
IYD - NFI Distribution


Humanitarian Situation Overview

The overall humanitarian situation remains dire in north-west Syria (NWS), with the population reaching approximately 4.5 million people as of September 2021. Humanitarian needs continue to be driven by the impacts of over a decade of hostilities exacerbated by economic deterioration and multiple displacements.

More than 2.7 million are Internally Displaced People (IDPs), many of whom are living in over-crowded locations with limited access to essential services. As of September 2021, over 1.7 million IDPs were living in 1,399 camps or informal sites. Women and children represent 80 per cent of this caseload while more than 39,000 IDPs are reported to be persons with specific needs.

The expanding impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the lives of people in humanitarian settings in NWS. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased significantly in the third quarter and by the end of September reached 74,750 cases, including 1,260 deaths and 39,393 recoveries



In preparation for the fast-approaching winter season and the impact of the harsh weather conditions on people’s living conditions, a main priority for SNFI is the coordination of the Winterization response. Organizations have currently secured funding to target over 870,000 people with winter assistance. The planned partner response is USD 42 million, however only 52% of funding has been received and there is still a funding gap of USD 20 million. Taking into account the large numbers of displaced people and those living in inadequate shelters, as well as the harsh conditions that most people face in NWS during winter, timely support for winterization is essential.

SNFI Cluster members continue to actively respond to the needs of the newly displaced population as well as protracted IDPs in NWS. In the third quarter of 2021, around 72,000 individuals received NFI assistance in the form of NFI kits, kitchen sets, mattresses, jerry cans, carpets, solar lamps, tarpaulin, and blankets or in the form of multi-purpose cash transfers. In addition, 7,000 people were reached with seasonal/supplementary NFI distributions. In-kind NFI distributions were lower than in previous quarters as the next winter response is in the coordination and planning phase, and there were no major new displacements. Whereas distribution of multi-purpose cash increased.

Shelter needs of approximately 308,000 people were addressed during the reporting period. As part of a complementarity approach, some sites and IDPs benefited from more than one SNFI activity. Of this shelter support, 17% was related to the provision of emergency shelter, 69% to the rehabilitation of infrastructure in IDP sites, 15% to shelter rehabilitation and transitional shelters.

As part of the COVID-19 response, as was recommended at the beginning of the pandemic in coordination with the WASH and Health Clusters, Cluster members have so far provided close to 485,000 people with additional soap with their NFI distributions in 2021, including over 50,000 reached in the third quarter.

·         The Cluster formulate three technical working groups in the third quarter:

o   TWiG on Dignified Shelter, led by SNFI in collaboration with WASH, ERL and CCCM clusters, with the goal of drafting the basic guidance on a multi-sectoral approach in IDP sites with integrated services.

o   TWiG on Communication and Advocacy, that aims to identify short and long-term actions and objectives as well as support the cluster coordination team having clear planning and timeline in accordance with the cluster timeframe and priorities

o   TWiG on Gender and Protection in Shelters with the view to develop guidance on context-specific Gender & Protection considerations



·         Following consultation and engagement with its Strategic Advisory Group, the Shelter/NFI Cluster finalized and published its updated strategy that takes into account dignified shelter options.

·         SNFI has published the Technical Annex: Dignified and Safer Living Conditions. The document highlights that shelter cannot be looked at in isolation, any response must consider the context in which the households are sheltered. The shelter should provide a secure and healthy living environment with privacy and dignity. The development of an appropriate shelter response is a process.

·         Regarding the SCHF Reserve Allocation, SNFI proposals focussed on the provision of NFIs, fuel and flood prevention needs focusing on high severity needs areas, and integrated multi-sector response and pilot shelter projects


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Coordination Team