Results and impact

UNHCR involvement in health services to IDPs results from the urgent needs and gaps noted in basic primary health as well as limited capacities of other actors in this sector. UNHCR-supported health services for IDPs focuses on primary health care and emergency life-saving medical and surgical interventions.

In 2015, UNHCR supported a total of 22 primary health care facilities in six governorates (Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs, Hama, Rural Damascus and Tartous). A total number of 797,432 vulnerable IDPs benefitted from UNHCR-supported primary health care services. Over 65 per cent of the beneficiaries were female, 42 per cent were under 18 years and children under-five years constituted 14 per cent of the targeted population. IDPs received these health services and basic essential medicines free of charge. IDPs also benefited from free access to basic mental health and psychosocial services, either as part of the primary health care package or through referrals. Mental health and psychosocial support services were integrated in eight of the partner’s polyclinics through a multifunctional approach, but were also offered through community-based protection services in UNHCR-funded community centres as non-specialized services. Around 5,394 IDPs received emergency life-saving medical interventions, such as urgent surgeries, emergency obstetric care and intensive care.

Unmet needs

A critical shortage of medicines for chronic diseases have placed many Syrians at increased risk from diseases that are treatable in principle. UNHCR-supported health services was only able to address the basic, primary health care needs of the most vulnerable IDPs. Secondary health care needs of the most vulnerable IDPs were only partially met due to limited funds available.