Fire incidents continue to be a prevalent concern in IDP sites in north-west Syria (NWS) where already vulnerable displaced populations face regular risks to themselves, their shelters and belongings as a result of these incidents.
Notably, the majority of IDP sites in NWS are self-settled (over 90% according to the sites listed in the CCCM database) and often lack proper infrastructure, site planning and camp management systems; which increases potential fire hazards and creates particular challenges in responding to incidents, such as access in an emergency situation. According to CCCM’s multi-sectoral service monitoring factsheet (published in May 2020) fire points were needed in 96% of the reported IDP sites (further details in Annex 2).
CCCM and Shelter/NFI (SNFI) Cluster members have reported the particular hazards and challenges in IDP sites that need addressing; including the misuse of fuel, cooking and heating devices, as well as lack of awareness and appropriate equipment to respond to fires. As the economic situation in north-west Syria has continued to deteriorate with the devaluation of the Syrian pound, people have increasingly had to resort to different fuel types which can be more hazardous, or not be appropriate for their specific heating or cooking device. This has been reported as a negative copying mechanism by IDPs to meet their needs taking into account the limitation of resources. Consequently, there are risks related to fires in both self-settled and planned IDP sites, and clear needs and gaps that need to be responded to.