Aid & Development

The UN launches an urgent appeal to donors to confront the Syrian refugee crisis

The UN launched an urgent appeal to international donors in an attempt to have them fulfil their pledges to the Syrian Refugee Program. The spokesperson gave a solution for the current refugee crisis.

The devastating 7-year long war in Syria spawned one of the worst refugee crises in modern history and has led to a humanitarian catastrophe, unparalleled in the world today. In 2016, from an estimated pre-war population of 22 million, the United Nations (UN) identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which more than 6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and around 5 million are refugees outside of Syria.

This crisis is exacerbated by the high poverty levels suffered by the Syrian refugee population. According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), 93% of Syrian refugees living outside of camps in Jordan are living below the poverty line, more than 70% of refugees are below the poverty line in Lebanon, and 65% in Egypt. The fragile economic situation in may of these host countries has meant that a significant proportion of refugees are still in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

In response to the crisis, the UN launched the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), which is a coordination effort between Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, and UN agencies with NGOs including UNHCR and 240 partners. It describes itself as “a strategy document, coordination platform, advocacy tool, and funding appeal”.

So far this year, progress has been made to provide support for these refugees. Across the region, almost 35,000 people have benefited from sexual and gender-based violence response services in 2018, while over 293,000 individuals have engaged in or benefited from community-led initiatives. In the first quarter of 2018, almost 8,300 refugee resettlement submissions have been made for Syrian refugees in 3RP countries

However, the UN says that it is only receiving a third of the funding required to provide aid and support to the millions of refugees living in poverty in the region. $5.61 billion is needed to carry out the work completely, but only $1.5 billion has been provided. As a result, a number of initiatives related to education, health, urgent humanitarian support, shelter, resettlement, hygiene and social cohesion are falling short of requirements.