2015 UNHCR subregional operations profile - Middle East
| Overview |
Conflict and indiscriminate violence has plagued large areas of the Middle East in 2014, creating unprecedented protection and humanitarian needs for people of concern to UNHCR. The lack of prospect for peace or stability in the region in the near future offers little hope of the situation improving in 2015.
Home to several overlapping crises and humanitarian emergencies, the Middle East is likely to witness further internal and external displacement, with vast numbers of existing refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) requiring direct humanitarian support.
As the war in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) enters its fourth year, a return to widespread violence in Iraq threatens to affect millions, and Yemen's fragile political transition risks sparking renewed internal clashes further affecting the lives of extremely vulnerable IDPs and refugees.
In an increasingly volatile and dangerous environment for both people of concern and local/international humanitarian actors, maintaining its presence and preparedness to assess and reach affected populations will be a major challenge for UNHCR.
While the international community struggles to effectively address multiple crises, and their implications beyond the Middle East, UNHCR's immediate priority will be to maintain the most favourable protection environment for people of concern, through active advocacy and support to the affected national and local entities.
Encouraging conformity with international standards will take into account the generosity already shown by many hosting countries and the growing challenges of ensuring peaceful coexistence between refugees and local populations.
In terms of basic services and essential needs, UNHCR will need to maintain considerable resources for the distribution of emergency relief to millions. While the majority of refugees and IDPs in the region will continue to live in local communities, those camps already in existence or due to be built in 2015 will require significant funding. Meanwhile, supporting people outside camps will need greater monitoring to ensure the most vulnerable are reached, wherever there may be.
UNHCR will maintain overall coordination of the humanitarian community's refugee response and lead in the areas of IDP protection, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), as well as shelter and non-food item distribution. This inter-agency coordination is essential in order to maintain the ambitious humanitarian strategies made necessary by the scale of the region's challenges and needs.
The organization and its partners, particularly WFP, UNDP and UNICEF, as well as civil society organizations, will pioneer ways to bridge the critical link between the humanitarian refugee response and refugee-hosting countries' need for resilience and stabilization in a context of protracted regional turmoil.
The organization will also build on the important contributions of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) and encourage their further leadership of and support for resource mobilization and fundraising. Moreover, in an extremely fragile and volatile context where durable solutions for refugees and IDPs are scarce, continued burden sharing through the offer of resettlement and humanitarian admissions will remain a priority for the most vulnerable.
| Response and implementation |
Operations in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, with budgets of USD 25 million and more, are presented in separate country chapters. For other countries in the subregion where UNHCR operates, please see below.
In Israel, UNHCR will work with the Government and civil society actors to address the identified protection needs of asylum-seekers and refugees. Key activities will include: providing advice and assistance to individuals of concern; contributing to community projects; monitoring conditions in detention facilities, including Holot facility; and advocating laws and policies that protect the asylum-seeker community.
The GCC countries are host to millions of migrant workers, many originating from refugee-producing countries. Strict immigration and labour laws result in many overstaying their visas or becoming irregular as a result of changes in their employment or sponsorship. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers cross into Saudi Arabia illegally through Yemen.
Since last year, GCC countries have cracked down on irregular migrant workers in a drive to regularize labour and increase employment of nationals. Accordingly, UNHCR will continue its multi-faceted approach to protection, including capacity building, advocating non-refoulement, and finding durable solutions for beneficiaries, in close coordination and partnership with competent GCC actors. Certain populations of concern to UNHCR, such as Syrians and Rohingyas, can be given exceptional treatment, such as access to education and health care.
From its Regional Office in Saudi Arabia (which covers Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates), as well as its offices in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, the organization will build on recent financial contributions to emergencies from GCC governments, national institutions and private entities, in order to foster greater coordination and participation towards more effective humanitarian delivery.
UNHCR will continue to raise awareness about its mandate, strategies, objectives, appeals and operations, and to promote a culture of transparency and shared responsibility, with the aim of mobilizing sustained resources for its field operations.
| Financial information |
UNHCR's financial requirements for the Middle East have increased dramatically in recent years, from USD 506.4 million in 2011 to a revised 2014 budget of USD 1.6 billion, as a result of needs arising from the crisis in Syria. In 2015, these financial requirements have increased again to USD 1.7 billion due to growing needs chiefly stemming from developments in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
In light of the evolving situation in the region, any changes in requirements will be presented separately, mainly in the 2015 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) and the 2015 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) for the Syria situation and in a supplementary appeal for the Iraq situation.
|UNHCR 2015 budgets for the Middle East (USD)|
(as of 30 June 2014)
|1. As from 2015 Kuwait is reported under Saudi Arabia Regional Office.|
|Saudi Arabia Regional Office||4,266,486||4,577,895||320,000||0||0||4,897,895|
|Syria Regional Refugee Coordination Office||17,425,583||20,537,705||0||0||0||20,537,705|
|Syrian Arab Republic||320,223,482||52,557,990||179,730||0||309,778,397||362,516,117|
|United Arab Emirates||3,372,493||2,890,951||110,000||0||0||3,000,951|
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update