• Text size Normal size text | Increase text size by 10% | Increase text size by 20% | Increase text size by 30%

UN and partners seek US$ 487.9 million to help Syrian refugees as numbers continue to rise

Press Releases, 27 September 2012

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners issued a revised appeal today for US$487.9 million to support Syrian refugees. The Regional Response Plan for Syrian Refugees outlines the plans of 52 humanitarian organizations, led by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), to help the rapidly increasing numbers of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

There are 294,000 Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration in neighbouring countries, compared to 41,500 Syrians in March. This seven fold increase has brought about a surge in the humanitarian response and a vastly expanded plan of action to respond to the needs of Syrian refugees as well as future arrivals.

Every day, two to three thousand refugees are crossing into neighbouring countries.

"Many refugees are arriving with only the clothes on their backs," said Panos Moumtzis, UNHCR's Regional Coordinator for Syrian Refugees. "Some have been displaced many times before leaving Syria. They need humanitarian assistance from day one."

The continued violence in Syria has prompted humanitarian agencies to prepare for a further increase in the numbers of refugees, taking into account the impact on refugee hosting countries and communities. Whereas the March appeal projected an estimated 100,000 Syrians becoming refugees by the end of 2012 (a number that was surpassed in July), this appeal estimates that there may be up to 700,000 Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries by the end of the year.

"Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey have set the example, keeping their borders open for Syrians fleeing violence. The neighbouring countries cannot do this alone. The international community must continue to demonstrate solidarity," said Moumtzis.

Humanitarian agencies have scaled-up assistance in response to the increase in numbers and needs of refugees, with an increasing sense of urgency to prepare for the winter months, with half the Syrian refugee population living in refugee camps, the majority in tents.

Za'atri camp in Jordan opened late July and today hosts some 32,000 Syrian refugees. Meanwhile in Iraq, Domiz camp, close to the northern city of Dohuk, hosts over 27,000 Syrian refugees. In Turkey, which assumes total responsibility for the refugee camps, the vast majority of Syrian refugees are hosted in camps, with close to 88,000 living in 13 camps.

In Lebanon most refugees are living in rented apartments and with families. As refugees continue to arrive, there are increasing concerns over lack of availability of shelter. In Jordan, over half of the refugee population is living in rented apartments or with host families, but new arrivals are required to live in the camp.

The World Food Programme (WFP) supports the distribution of food to Syrians in camps and among hosting communities in all four neighbouring countries.

"Humanitarian needs, especially food, are growing, as thousands more Syrians pour into neighbouring countries," said Edward Kallon, WFP Regional Refugee Emergency Coordinator. "WFP is responding to cover the food needs of refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey with food distributions, hot meals and innovative food vouchers."

Women and children make up 75 per cent of the refugee population. Education and health care are both priorities in the plan.

"The race is really on to ensure that all Syrian refugee children are in school, fully immunized and properly clothed for the cold weather that's fast approaching," said Maria Cavilis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. "UNICEF is ready to provide this support, but what is missing is the funding."

This revised Regional Response Plan includes 42 national and international NGOs, who were represented at the launch of the appeal by Michael Penrose, Humanitarian Director of Save the Children International.

"NGOs are at the forefront of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees and host communities across the region, but we need far more support to deal with the number of refugees, which is growing daily," said Penrose.

Funding for the Regional Response Plan for Syrian Refugees stands at 29 per cent, that is US$141.5 million received to date.

For further information, please contact:

  • Elisabeth Byrs, byrs@wfp.org, + 41 79 473 45 70

  • Marixie Mercado, mmercado@unicef.org, +4179 756 7703

  • Sarah Tyler, Sarah.Tyler@savethechildren.org, +44 795 833 7624

  • Sybella Wilkes, wilkes@unhcr.org, +41 79 557 9138

Second Revision Syria Regional Response Plan September 2012

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

UNHCR country pages

Syria Emergency: Urgent Appeal

You can help save the lives of thousands of refugees

Donate to this crisis

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

Syria: Aid Reaches Eastern AleppoPlay video

Syria: Aid Reaches Eastern Aleppo

An agreement between the Syrian Government and the opposition allows UNHCR and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to deliver humanitarian assistance to the besieged city of Aleppo.
Jordan: Syrian Refugees' Housing CrisisPlay video

Jordan: Syrian Refugees' Housing Crisis

Hundreds of thousands of refugees living in urban areas are struggling to survive. They face rising rents, inadequate accommodation, and educational challenges for their children.
Jordan: Shahad Finds her VoicePlay video

Jordan: Shahad Finds her Voice

Four-year-old Shahad is among hundreds of thousands of Syrian children suffering from the traumatic effects of the war in Syria. After a bomb attack on her family home, she stopped speaking.