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Syria Emergency - Background

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Helping to Ease the Strain

Unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic has been mounting since March 2011, leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians. As of June 2012, more than 78,000 people are estimated to have fled to neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, putting an increasing strain on the governments and host communities.

In response, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners issued an appeal in March 2012 for US$84 million to support Syrian refugees. The Syria Regional Response Plan outlines current and future needs for some 100,000 Syrian refugees over six months. Led by UNHCR, the plan is the result of a coordinated effort between seven UN agencies, 27 national and international NGOs and partners, and host governments. The Regional Response Plan will be revised at the end of June 2012.

In Jordan, some 21,400 Syrians had registered with UNHCR as of June 2012. This figure is expected to increase as UNHCR and partners expand their outreach efforts and level of assistance to Syrians. The Jordanian government and UNHCR believe there are tens of thousands of vulnerable Syrians in the country. Many refugees have arrived with limited means to cover basic needs, and those who could at first rely on savings or support from host families are now increasingly in need of assistance.

In Lebanon, many refugees are in a precarious situation, with little or no financial resources. UNHCR and partners are working with the government, local authorities and international and national partners to assist more than 27,500 Syrians. More than half of them, 17,000, have been registered in the north. UNHCR and partners are assisting 3,000 Syrian refugees in Tripoli and 7,500 in Bekaa, who are pending registration.

In Turkey, some 24,300 Syrians are registered with the government, which is hosting them in the provinces of Hatay, Gaziantep, Kilis and Sanliurfa. The government has assumed responsibility for assisting, sheltering and protecting the refugees in camps, with UNHCR providing technical support as well as thousands of tents and tens of thousands of blankets. In addition, UNHCR is registering and assisting refugees who were previously hosted in Syria, such as Iraqis now living in urban environments.

Iraq has recently seen a growing number of Syrians arriving. As of June, some 4,400 had been registered with a further 425 awaiting registration. UNHCR and partners have started assisting refugees, in close cooperation with the authorities. Meanwhile in Syria, the government continues to work with UNHCR and partners to assist some 110,000 refugees.

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Lebanon: Help for the RefugeesPlay video

Lebanon: Help for the Refugees

In northern Lebanon, Syrian refugees are given essential assistance by UNHCR and local communities.