2014 UNHCR regional operations profile - Middle East
| Overview |
The massive displacement of people from and inside the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) as a consequence of the unrelenting conflict in that country has dominated concerns regionally and internationally, threatening the social, political and economic balance of the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees. Despite the lack of prospects for a short-term resolution of the situation, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon have demonstrated great generosity in welcoming the Syrian refugees and assisting them.
However, the ramifications of the Syria crisis are being felt even further away in a region where protection remains fragile at best. Indeed, the Syria situation has drawn attention away from other protracted or worsening situations, such as Yemen and Iraq. As such, in 2014 international support and burden-sharing will be essential not only to sustain assistance to those displaced by the Syria conflict but also to ensure protection and assistance for all people of concern in other States in the region.
| Response |
The Syria displacement grew at an alarming rate in 2013, with close to 2 million refugees fleeing the country, chiefly to Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Within the country, there were more than 6.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including at least 4.25 million internally displaced people (IDPs). UNHCR will focus on maintaining the protection space in host countries through increased burden-sharing, including resettlement and humanitarian admissions, and by working with development actors to offset the impact of the refugee influx on national infrastructure and host communities.
In responding to needs of Syrian refugees and IDPs alike, coordination will be central to addressing potential protection and assistance gaps.
In this context, the Gulf countries will play a central role, not only in their hospitality to Syrian refugees on their soil, but in terms of advocacy and resource mobilization efforts, in line with their growing engagement in international humanitarian endeavours. UNHCR will maintain its momentum in building partnerships with a range of actors, including the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States.
In the subregion as a whole, the Office will advocate for the principle of non-refoulement, accessible and favourable asylum space, and durable solutions. Particular attention will also be paid to internal displacement situations in Yemen and Iraq, where political and security developments could jeopardize favourable national policies on displaced populations. In Iraq in particular, a key priority will remain the return and reintegration of IDPs and refugees.
At a time of significant political and social upheaval across the subregion, security concerns are likely to weigh ever more heavily on asylum policies and practices. Meanwhile, mixed migration flows and human smuggling will continue to blur the context in which UNHCR is operating.
In Syria, Iraq and Yemen, UNHCR faces even greater restrictions in accessing displaced populations due to insecurity and violence, which in turn will hinder durable solutions, including resettlement.
| Implementation |
UNHCR's operations in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen are covered in detail in separate chapters.
In addition to helping displaced Syrians, UNHCR assists several thousand refugees of other nationalities in the region. The majority are from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Turkey. The most vulnerable among them receive basic humanitarian assistance from UNHCR, which also conducts registration and refugee status determination (RSD) and seeks durable solutions, including resettlement in most of the countries.
As a result of heightened security measures and legislative action in Israel, which have restricted asylum space, the number of people entering the country irregularly has decreased significantly compared to previous years. UNHCR will continue to advocate for people of concern inside the country to have access to asylum procedures and basic services in close consultation with national counterparts and civil society.
UNHCR is strengthening its partnerships in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Building upon previous resource mobilization efforts, which resulted in unprecedented contributions for the Syria crisis and worldwide operations, UNHCR's offices in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, and regional office in Saudi Arabia (which also covers all the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar) will work with national and regional organizations to increase public awareness of refugee-protection needs.
| Financial information |
UNHCR's financial requirements for the Middle East subregion have increased dramatically in recent years, from USD 574.5 million in 2010 to a revised 2013 budget of USD 1.44 billion, as a result of needs arising from the crisis in Syria. In 2014, the financial requirements for the subregion have decreased slightly to USD 1.37 billion, when compared with the 2013 revised budget, due to the reduction in some operations, such as in Yemen following the successful completion of the return and reintegration programme for IDPs in the South, and the significant investments already made to respond to the situation in Syria.
These financial requirements are based on the best estimates for 2014 using the information available as of mid-2013. In light of the evolving situation in Syria, any additional requirements as they relate to that emergency will be presented in the Regional Response Plan for Syrian refugees (RRP6) and the Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), with the situation undergoing further review in the course of 2014.
|UNHCR budgets for the Middle East (USD)|
(as of 30 June 2013)
|Saudi Arabia Regional Office||4,453,371||3,205,486||390,000||0||0||3,595,486||3,858,188|
|Syria Regional Refugee Coordination Office||2,803,738||3,684,171||0||0||0||3,684,171||4,481,186|
|Syrian Arab Republic||316,996,216||64,334,792||578,338||0||192,951,405||257,864,535||245,367,453|
|United Arab Emirates||3,217,460||2,506,493||125,000||0||0||2,631,493||2,641,493|
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105
UNHCR contact information
|The UNHCR Liaison Office in Kuwait|
|Style of Address||The UNHCR Liaison Officer in Kuwait|
|Street Address||UN House West Mishref - block 6, West Mishref - block 6, Al Qouse Street - Diplomatic Square, (in front of Australian University), Kuwait City, Kuwait|
|Mailing Address||P.O. Box 28742, Safat, 13148 Kuwait City, Kuwait|
|Time Zone||GMT + 3|
|Public Holidays||01 January 2014, New Year's Day
25 February 2014, National Day
26 February 2014, Liberation Day
28 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
30 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
05 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
26 October 2014, Hirjir New Year
25 December 2014, Christmas