UNHCR and partners seek US$193 million to help Syrian refugees

News Stories, 28 June 2012

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Syrian refugees receive supplies from UNHCR in northern Lebanon.

Revised Syria Regional Response Plan June 2012

GENEVA, June 28 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency and more than 40 other humanitarian aid organizations on Thursday appealed to donors for urgent new funds to help meet the needs of growing numbers of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

They had originally appealed in March for US$84.1 million, but said increasing numbers of refugees meant US$193 million would now be needed to help the almost 100,000 Syrian refugees. This figure is more than double the number in March and more people keep leaving their beleaguered country.

"The governments and host communities of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have shown tremendous generosity and hospitality to Syrian refugees," said Panos Moumtzis, UNHCR's regional coordinator for Syrian refugees. "It is essential that the international community steps up its support for relief operations for refugees."

In the last three months, humanitarian agencies in neighbouring countries have been registering an average of more than 500 Syrian refugees a day. The updated appeal anticipates that by the end of 2012, there could be 185,000 refugees, due to new arrivals and existing refugees in neighbouring countries requesting assistance or protection.

Moumtzis noted that around 75 per cent of Syrian refugees were women and children. "Most are entirely dependent on life-saving humanitarian assistance," he stressed.

In Jordan and Lebanon, most refugees live among host communities, with a small number in Jordan living in transit facilities close to the border. In Turkey, Syrian refugees are hosted in camps provided by the government. In Iraq, the majority are living in the Kurdistan region, with increasing numbers moving to Domiz camp in the northern province of Dohuk.

The original appeal anticipated that only 1,500 Syrians would flee to Iraq. However, by mid-June, more than 6,000 Syrian refugees had been registered in northern Iraq. Meanwhile, increasing numbers are reported to have arrived in central and southern Iraq. In the past month the Kurdistan Regional Government made the decision that all Syrian refugees should be hosted in camps. Two thirds are awaiting relocation at Domiz camp.

Fior Iraq, the fresh appeal outlines shelter, registration, protection, food, water, sanitation, health and education support for refugees in camps as well as assistance for those remaining in urban areas.

In Jordan, more than 27,000 Syrian refugees have registered with UNHCR. Local charities estimate that around 50,000 Syrian refugees are currently receiving assistance. Registered Syrian refugees are granted free access to health services and their children are welcomed in local schools. The appeal identifies the main needs of refugees in Jordan as being rental payments, basic household items, access to health care, water and sanitation, food and education. Support to host communities is also planned.

In Lebanon, more than 29,000 Syrian refugees are being assisted. Many live with host families, who themselves struggle to make ends meet. Among the most pressing needs are permission to move freely, food and basic household items, shelter, medical care, education and psychosocial support.

In Turkey, 33,000 Syrian refugees are hosted in camps in the four border provinces of Hatay, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep and Kilis. New arrivals are rapidly settled in the camps prepared by the Turkish authorities and set up by the Turkish Red Crescent. Assistance to Syrian refugees in camps and technical advice to the government of Turkey is envisaged within the appeal. In addition, support for the increasing number of Iraqi and Somali refugees who have fled Syria for towns and cities in Turkey is planned.

The plan is a result of the coordinated efforts of 44 international and national agencies involved in responding to the needs of Syrian refugees in four countries, as well as support to host communities. This includes UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as host governments and local and international NGOs.

UNHCR and partners continue to assist some 90,000 mainly Iraqi refugees in different parts of Syria.

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Syrian Refugee Voices

UNHCR joins a call to donors for US$193 million to assist Syrian refugees this year. The revised appeal is a response to the growing numbers of people leaving the country.

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Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

As world concern grows over the plight of hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians, including more than 200,000 refugees, UNHCR staff are working around the clock to provide vital assistance in neighbouring countries. At the political level, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres was due on Thursday (August 30) to address a closed UN Security Council session on Syria.

Large numbers have crossed into Lebanon to escape the violence in Syria. By the end of August, more than 53,000 Syrians across Lebanon had registered or received appointments to be registered. UNHCR's operations for Syrian refugees in Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley resumed on August 28 after being briefly suspended due to insecurity.

Many of the refugees are staying with host families in some of the poorest areas of Lebanon or in public buildings, including schools. This is a concern as the school year starts soon. UNHCR is urgently looking for alternative shelter. The majority of the people looking for safety in Lebanon are from Homs, Aleppo and Daraa and more than half are aged under 18. As the conflict in Syria continues, the situation of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon remains precarious.

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Turkish Camps Provide Shelter to 90,000 Syrian Refugees

By mid-September, more than 200,000 Syrian refugees had crossed the border into Turkey. UNHCR estimates that half of them are children, and many have seen their homes destroyed in the conflict before fleeing to the border and safety.

The Turkish authorities have responded by building well-organized refugee camps along southern Turkey's border with Syria. These have assisted 120,000 refugees since the crisis conflict erupted in Syria. There are currently 12 camps hosting 90,000 refugees, while four more are under construction. The government has spent approximately US$300 million to date, and it continues to manage the camps and provide food and medical services.

The UN refugee agency has provided the Turkish government with tents, blankets and kitchen sets for distribution to the refugees. UNHCR also provides advice and guidelines, while staff from the organization monitor voluntary repatriation of refugees.

Most of the refugees crossing into Turkey come from areas of northern Syria, including the city of Aleppo. Some initially stayed in schools or other public buildings, but they have since been moved into the camps, where families live in tents or container homes and all basic services are available.

Turkish Camps Provide Shelter to 90,000 Syrian Refugees

Displaced inside Syria: UNHCR and its Dedicated Staff help the Needy

The violence inside Syria continues to drive people from their homes, with some seeking shelter elsewhere in their country and others risking the crossing into neighbouring countries. The United Nations estimates that up to 4 million people are in need of help, including some 2 million believed to be internally displaced.

The UN refugee agency has 350 staff working inside Syria. Despite the insecurity, they continue to distribute vital assistance in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Al Hassakeh and Homs. Thanks to their work and dedication, more than 350,000 people have received non-food items such as blankets, kitchen sets and mattresses. These are essential items for people who often flee their homes with no more than the clothes on their backs. Cash assistance has been given to more than 10,600 vulnerable Syrian families.

Displaced inside Syria: UNHCR and its Dedicated Staff help the Needy

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