Lithuania donates to UNHCR to help Syrian refugees

As part of the international community’s emergency response to Syria, Lithuania has donated LTL 70,000 (USD 26,237) to UNHCR to assist and protect Syrian refugees.

Hamra and Malek have two children: Shahad, 4, and Ahmad, 3. ; Since the start of 2017, freezing cold has gripped the Middle East, accompanied by strong winds and rain. In Lebanon, fresh snow has blanketed the high-altitude towns in the Bekaa valley and northern Lebanon. The longer the cold temperatures continue, the more difficult it becomes for the millions of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees, many of whom are living in vulnerable conditions in substandard housing and without means to insulate homes. © UNHCR/David Azia

UNHCR thanks Lithuania for this important and timely donation which will contribute to protection and lifesaving assistance for the Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Lithuania’s contribution is a great gesture of solidarity with the Syrian population and with UNHCR and its partners that strive to deliver timely assistance to the refugees.

Since the conflict began in March 2011, more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety. Almost all of them have fled to the neighbouring countries of Syria. 48 per cent of the refugee population are children who have been severely traumatized by the brutal violence of the conflict.  In addition, it is estimated that more than 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 3.6 million people who have fled their homes within Syria. If current trends continue, almost half of Syria’s 20.8 million population could be in need of humanitarian help by the end of 2013.

The dramatic increase of refugees has put a large burden on the host communities. The resources are strained. There are more than 400,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. With a population of over 4 million it means that Lebanon’s population has increased by as much as 10 per cent. Jordan’s energy, water, health and education services are being strained to the limit. Turkey has provided more than USD 750 million in direct assistance to over 300,000 Syrian refugees. Iraq, juggling its own crisis with more than 1 million Iraqis displaced within its own country, has received more than 100,000 Syrian refugees in the past year.

Due to the dramatic surge in refugee numbers UNHCR is scaling up its emergency response and the UN Regional Response Plan has been revised to USD 1, 04 billion. UNHCR requirements are USD 493 million, of which 31 per cent has been funded.