The ongoing conflict, as well as recurrent drought conditions, have damaged pre-existing market structures in Syria. A reduced productive base, a collapse in employment (especially in the trade sector), a lack of income-generating opportunities, rising inflation and the depreciation of the Syrian pound are all symptoms of the current crisis. Within this framework, some humanitarian actors have moved away from emergency programming towards recovery approaches that use market systems, including localization of activities (e.g. procurement) to support local market functionality. and the use of CVA programming.
Currently, the NWS humanitarian supply chain is heavily dependent on items imported from Turkey, especially supply chains related to in-kind assistance such as food baskets, non-food item (NFI) kits, emergency shelter repair kits (ESK), hygiene kits. , and other common in-kind assistance programs recommended by the UN cluster system. This reliance on imported humanitarian aid continues to present a significant risk to the overall response should transhipment be halted by the expiration of the UN cross-border resolution, and should borders close, this would result in problems for supply chains, increased prices and reduced availability of products. In 2020, the NGO Forum established the Procurement Working Group (PWG) to plan for a more sustainable trade supply chain and in its 2021 review, the PWG launched a baseline study on supply capacity NGOs. The study’s conclusion shows that after food security, the SNFI and Wash sectors accounted for the largest volume of cross-border transhipped in-kind assistance in 2020.
Local NWS markets are functional, but humanitarian actors have begun to shift from contingency planning to preparedness planning, and one of the suggested approaches is to increase the scale of cash transfers to reduce in-kind assistance given the uncertainty surrounding future cross-border voting. . In the strategic objectives of the HSC task force, the task force stresses the need to identify solutions to increase local supply in order to reduce reliance on transshipment. The HSC working group also recommended the adoption of CVA interventions and the implementation of additional assessments to explore supply chains in local markets in relation to in-kind products.
This assessment aims to inform humanitarian supply approaches in North West Syria (NWS) through comprehensive mapping of SNFI and hygiene items, and will be piloted in the communities of Sarmada and Dana to serve as a first step. in understanding the functionality of local markets and the feasibility of implementing such assessments on a larger scale.
2.2 Expected impact
The results of the REACH Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) exercise support the growing trend towards local food sourcing (often through CVA interventions) in this sector in 2021. However, some gaps remain in sectors other than the food security sector. The HSC Task Force analysis in 2021 identified the second largest volume of in-kind assistance as SNFI products, mostly provided by UN agencies, and recommended that this sector explore opportunities for intensify local sourcing and/or explore the use of CVA modalities to reduce overall transhipment volumes. For local procurement, more information on the availability of in-kind NFI support is needed to inform NGO procurement strategies and encourage greater engagement in the local market. For CVA activities targeting SNFI activities, further information regarding item availability, suppliers, and commodity prices is required to properly inform the design of CVA activities.
This assessment, intended to fill these information gaps, will be piloted in the communities of Sarmada and Dana in the NWS. And in the meantime, the results of the assessment would feed into the planning phases of cash transfer programming implemented by humanitarian actors, while identifying some of the challenges providers face in procuring key SNFI products, and highlighting their ability to store and restock items.