Resources to support more than 12.3 million Syrians and refugees; conflict in the country has been going on for ten years
The United Nations raised US$ 6.4 billion to fund the humanitarian response in Syria during a Donors Conference in Brussels, this Tuesday (30). The initial appeal was $10 billion.
About $4.4 billion is expected to fund operations this year and $2 billion will be invested in 2022 and beyond. After the conference, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said that the response in Syria, which represents “the largest humanitarian operation in the world”, needs the generous support of donors.
According to him, last year, the United Nations and partners provided assistance to around 7.7 million Syrians on average per month. The number represents an increase of about 28% compared to 2019.
This year, the goal is to reach around 12.3 million people in the national territory, in addition to 5.6 million Syrian refugees in the region.
Speaking to the General Assembly, Guterres said that “there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria” and the international community must continue to seek a political agreement in accordance with Security Council resolution 2254, adopted in 2015.
“The war in Syria is not just the war in Syria. Therefore, ending the enormous suffering it continues to cause is a collective responsibility,” he said. Ahead of the meeting, heads of three UN agencies called on donors to support the record appeal, ten years after the conflict began.
The leaders of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, Development, UNDP, and the Coordinating Office for Humanitarian Assistance, Ocha, recall that with the added impact of the pandemic, there is no respite for civilians.
Syrians still face rising hunger and poverty, continued displacement and continued attacks. About 80% of Syrian refugees are in neighboring countries. But these same countries are dealing with growing socioeconomic challenges at home.
With the new appeal, it is expected to allow the distribution of food, water and sanitation, health services, education, childhood vaccination and shelter for millions of people.
Donor money will also serve to generate employment or training opportunities, access to education in national systems for millions of children and young people in countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
The figure includes at least $4.2 billion for humanitarian response within Syria and $5.8 billion for refugees and host communities in the region. In a statement, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said that "declining living conditions, economic decline and Covid-19 result in more hunger, malnutrition and disease."
According to him, the number of people in need of help is the greatest since the beginning of the war. Lowcock also said that "maintaining basic living standards is an essential ingredient for sustainable peace." Already the commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, believes that "the gains made over the years are at risk."
The administrator of the UN Development Program, UNDP, Achim Steiner, said the crisis of the last 12 months had brought the Syrians to a point of collapse. “Poverty and inequality soar as hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs and livelihoods,” he said.
Countries hosting refugees "are struggling to provide basic services like health and water." At last year's Donors Conference, the international community pledged $5.5 billion in funding to support humanitarian activities in Syria.