Millions have suffered from the brutal two-year conflict in Syria. The foreign aid given to humanitarian organizations as well as refugees is not enough. This is why Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and High Commissioner of Refugees Antonio Guterres are appealing to the UN for an additional $3.1 billion to meet humanitarian needs in Syria and throughout the region. The governments of Lebanon and Jordan are also seeking an additional $830 million to support nearly 500,000 Syrian refugees in each country. This money will help support efforts to provide education and health services to the refugees.
“After more than two years of brutal conflict, almost a third of Syrians need urgent humanitarian help and protection, but the needs are growing more quickly than we can meet them,” said Amos.
The UN estimates that 6.8 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance, 4.25 million are internally displaced from their homes, and at least 1.6 million Syrian refugees are now living in several neighboring countries. In December 2012, $1.5 billion was requested to help 4 million people in Syria as well as 1.1 million refugees. UNHCR now estimates there could be as many as 3.65 million Syrian refugees by the end of 2013.
In the last few months, the UN and other international and local humanitarian organizations in Syria have fed up to 2.4 million per month, vaccinated more than 1 million children against measles and polio, made drinking water safe for over 9 million people and provided for nearly 920,000 people. However, this is not enough and these organizations are aiming to help even more people. With this new aid, they would be able to feed 4 million Syrians, immunize 1.7 million children, provide nearly 7 million people with health care and 10 million with safe drinking water.
“The funds we are appealing for are a matter of survival for suffering Syrians and they are essential for the neighboring countries hosting refugees,” said High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres.
This aid will also help governments in the region who are feeling the strain of the conflict. Housing refugees has come at a high price for the host countries with increasing conflict and rising regional insecurity. Tensions are high in the region and this aid will help to relieve it.
– Catherine Ulrich