Donors, 7 June 2013
Since the launch of the last Regional Response Plan (RRP) in December 2012, an additional one million Syrians have become refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. This makes it the fastest growing refugee crisis this year. With little prospect of being able to safely return to their homes in the short term and growing hardship in host countries, Syrians face desperate circumstances. At the same time, the Governments of the region hosting Syrian refugees and the humanitarian community face an increasingly challenging and complex humanitarian crisis which, beyond refugees' immediate protection and assistance needs, threatens the balance of the entire region.
Over 1.5 million Syrian refugees are now hosted across five countries, each with its own set of domestic priorities and concerns in which events in Syria and the influx of refugees are increasingly playing a central role. Based on arrival trends since the beginning of the year, it is estimated that the number of Syrian refugees in need of assistance across the region may reach 3.45 million by the end of 2013, hosted in camps and, for the most part, in local communities.
For Lebanon and Jordan, the two countries hosting the highest number of refugees both in absolute terms and relative to their own population, this generosity has come at a heavy price, not least for the many communities welcoming refugees. Acknowledging the fact that the response in these countries needs to address the wider impact of the refugee influx, the inter-agency response plans of Lebanon and Jordan are presented alongside plans developed by these Governments in close coordination with the humanitarian actors on the ground in order to ensure the compatibility and non-duplication of activities.
The numbers presented in this Plan are staggering. They represent a tragedy for Syria, but also give an indication of the burden placed on the recipient countries. This is also recognized in the overarching priorities for this response, namely:
1. Protection (Access to asylum and registration; Child Protection; Sexual and Gender-Based Violence)
2. Life-Saving Assistance
3. Access to Basic Services
4. Durable Solutions (Humanitarian Admissions and Resettlement)
6. Community Outreach: support to urban refugees and host communities
The total financial requirements in this Regional Response Plan amount to close to US$ 3 billion for international agencies and NGOs and an additional US$ 830 million for the Governments of Jordan and Lebanon.
For decades, Syria and the Syrian people have generously hosted thousands of refugees from the Arab World and beyond. In 2012, Syria was the third largest asylum country in the world. It is time to extend the same support to the Syrian people in these difficult times. International solidarity must be urgently reinforced. By taking in thousands of new refugees every day, the countries on the frontline of this crisis are doing the region and indeed, the world, an extraordinary service. Helping them deal with the consequences of the refugee crisis is imperative.