Since 2010, the conflict in Syria generated the world’s largest and most complex humanitarian crisis. It is estimated that over 220,000 people have been killed, with more than 6.5 million people displaced within Syria. A further 4.5 million people fled to neighbouring countries. Extreme human rights violations and disrespect for international humanitarian law have been widely reported.
In January 2013, a system-wide level 3 (L3) response to the crisis was activated. The Operational Peer Review (OPR) occurred in June and July 2015, following the deployment of the new Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (RHC).
In order to meet the protection and assistance needs of the Syrian population, humanitarian actors accessed Syria from different hubs in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as from inside Syria. Until recently, there was limited information exchange and coordination across these hubs. The WoS (Whole of Syria) approach made important progress in rectifying this disconnect.
The OPR team was led by the STAIT, with representatives from Inter Action, the International Rescue Committee, WHO, and WFP. They conducted meetings, workshops, and interviews with more than 250 people from various senior leadership bodies inside Syria, Turkey, Jordan and at the regional level, clusters/sectors, humanitarian actors, donors, national counter-parts, and people affected by the crisis. The team carried out field visits to Homs and Tartus in Syria and Antakya and Reyhanli in Turkey.
"In order to meet the protection and assistance needs of the Syrian population, humanitarian actors accessed Syria from different hubs in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as from inside Syria."
The team noted that the senior leadership inside Syria and at regional level, had already made clear progress in bringing together a collective approach across the different hubs. The team further worked with senior leadership bodies to develop action plans covering humanitarian operations in all four contexts. Some important points highlighted in the action plan include:
The OPR Update Report provides more detailed examples of progress in the different areas since the review took place.
Interview with Yacoub El Hillo, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator in Syria (2013-2016):
The Humanitarian STAITment video series features interviews with senior leaders in the humanitarian field, in view of capturing best practices from field operations. In this video Yacoub El Hillo, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator in Syria, talks about his experience of the Whole of Syria response.