In its sixth year, the Syrian regional crisis continues at enormous cost, with refugees and vulnerable host communities in the region facing continued vulnerability to food insecurity, deterioration of living conditions and sources of resilience, exposure to protection risks and erosion of social cohesion. Inadequate access to public infrastructure and services, including shelter, safe water, sanitation, education and healthcare, remains a major concern. The length of displacement, lack of formal livelihood opportunities, and rising costs have exhausted sources of self-reliance for refugees and vulnerable host communities, forcing households to deplete their savings and assets to pay for basic needs such as food and shelter. Refugees and vulnerable host community households remain heavily reliant on international assistance. Reductions of assistance have resulted in the adoption of negative coping strategies, including decreased food consumption and food quality, and increased exposure to protection risks.
Vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity is increasing for refugee and vulnerable host communities, driven by a lack of economic access to food. These trends were evidenced in late 2015 by the concurrence of reductions in assistance and significantly increased food insecurity rates among refugee households – reaching 37 percent in Jordan. Vulnerability in the region is often greater among women-headed households than those headed by men, and is negatively correlated with international assistance, education levels and income-earning opportunities.
Protracted relief and recovery operation 200987 will intensify efforts to achieve sustainable solutions through support to the human capital and self-reliance of vulnerable refugee and host communities, while providing life-saving food assistance when needed. WFP will address the underlying causes of vulnerability, increase beneficiaries’ self-reliance and reduce the need for international assistance in the future. The operation will maintain flexibility between the relief and self-reliance components, using regular assessments and revisions to respond to changing needs, maximize programme impact and prepare for recovery and stability as part of longer-term work.
This operation builds on WFP’s Vision 2020 and is fully aligned with national and regional response plans and Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 17. Activities will contribute to WFP’s Strategic Plan (2017–2021) through the provision of conditional, restricted food assistance to end hunger (Strategic Objective 1) and improve nutrition (Strategic Objective 2); and resilience-based approaches to enhance self-reliance, human capital and livelihoods. Broader actions for food security will include national social safety nets (Strategic Objective 3) and support to Sustainable Development Goal results (Strategic Objectives 4 and 5). The Gender Policy 2015–2020 and its regional implementation strategy will be mainstreamed throughout the operation.