Joint press release from UNOCHA, UNHCR and UNDP

UN agencies warn humanitarian needs growing in Syria and region: nearly US$8 billion urgently needed in 2016

NEW YORK (12 January 2016) - With Syria's war heading towards a 6th year and with no end to the conflict in sight, UN humanitarian and development agencies today appealed to member states for US$7.73 billion in vital new funding for 2016 to help 22.5 million people in Syria and across the region.

The appeal comprises two main elements: help for an anticipated 4.7 million refugees in neighbouring countries by the end of 2016 as well as 4 million people in communities hosting them, and support for 13.5 million displaced and conflict-affected people inside Syria itself.

The first of these elements, the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) 2016 covers the activities of some 200 partners including UN agencies, inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Amounting to $4.55 billion, the appeal aims to support people forced to flee Syria into the surrounding region and the communities in which they are being hosted.

"While the influx to Europe has finally focused the attention of the world on the Syria crisis and the epic levels of human suffering it produces, the biggest burden by far is shouldered by communities and governments in the region," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. "We must stop Syrian refugees sliding deeper into abject poverty, boost their hope in their own future and that of their country, and do more to help those hosting them," Grandi added.

Key strategic directions in the 3RP this year include greater investment in education and increased opportunities for vocational training and livelihoods for refugees and host communities. The partners behind the programme are also calling for more support to the most vulnerable refugees to meet their food and other basic needs, alongside increased support to national capacities and systems for the delivery of health, education, water and other services.

"Conventional approaches of 'relief now, development later' will not work in Syria or in other protracted crises," said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. "Refugees, host communities and internally displaced people in Syria need livelihoods. They need basic services, like health, education, water, sanitation, electricity, and garbage removal. And they need hope for a better future."

The 3RP partners urge donors to disburse funds earlier this year, provide multi-year funding and harmonize their humanitarian and development allocations to assist in better planning and predictability.

Syria Humanitarian Response Plan 2016 The conflict in Syria remains the world's largest protection crisis. An estimated 250,000 people have been killed and around 1.2 million injured. This year the 2016 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan calls for nearly $3.2 billion to provide humanitarian support and protection to 13.5 million people. These needs were calculated following a rigorous data collection and prioritization exercise throughout the country. The Plan focuses on saving lives, improving humanitarian access, enhancing protection and supporting long-term resilience for the most vulnerable communities.

"As we start 2016, millions of people need assistance inside Syria, and nearly 400,000 people are besieged by warring parties and are effectively obstructed from receiving any kind of humanitarian relief at all. After nearly six years of brutal conflict and political paralysis, the Syrian people need our help more than ever," said Stephen O'Brien, UN Humanitarian Chief.

"The Syria Conference on 4 February will be an opportunity to shine a light on the human impact of the conflict, particularly on women, girls and young people. It will rally support for accountability for abuses against civilians and the failure to protect them. I urge Member States to send senior leaders to London to show the world that this crisis has our full attention and commitment," O'Brien added.

The Syria appeals are part of the wider 2016 humanitarian appeal, asking for $20.1 billion to reach 87 million people around the world, launched last December.

For further information on the appeals visit and

Media contacts

  • UN OCHA Amanda Pitt in New York Tel: +1 212 963 4129 | Mob: +1 917 442 1810
  • UN OCHA Jens Learke in Geneva + Tel: +41 (0)22 917 11 42, Cell: +41 79 472 9750
  • UNHCR Ariane Rummery in Geneva +41 79 200
  • UNHCR Firas Kayal on mission in New York +41 79 881
  • UNDP Christina LoNigro in New York +1 212 906 5301 Mob: +1 917 607 9446