Geneva/Beirut 2 December 2013:
Almost three years after the beginning of the crisis in Syria, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is increasing its support to assist over 6 million people. To reflect growing needs and the arrival of winter, the IFRC has revised its three emergency appeals for Syria, Syria’s neighbouring countries (Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon) and Turkey with a total budget of 194 million CHF.
The scale of need in Syria is staggering, with more than 100,000 people killed, at least half a million wounded, and millions of people displaced internally and beyond the country’s borders. Every part of Syrian life has been affected by the violence. In many areas the breakdown of essential services, such as electricity, water supply and waste collection, has added to the misery. The destruction of hospitals and other health facilities, shortages of vaccines and medicines for acute and chronic diseases, outbreak of communicable diseases and the limited production of pharmaceuticals are also major concerns. Fighting, displacement and the weakened economy have left many people dependent on the support of their fellow Syrians and humanitarian aid. “The humanitarian needs inside Syria have reached unprecedented levels and continue to increase, with millions now displaced inside the country,” said Bekele Geleta, IFRC Secretary General. “After 2,5 years of conflict, the humanitarian situation has continually deteriorated. At least four million people in Syria are thought to be in need of food assistance, but the Red Crescent staff on the ground tell me this figure is likely to be much higher.” With this revision, IFRC is aiming to support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) to assist up to 5,4 million people until the end of 2014.
SARC remains the primary humanitarian agency operating across the country through its network of 9,000 trained and active volunteers and 200 staff dispatched in 14 branches and 77 sub-branches. SARC has lost 32 volunteers and staff in the course of duty; others have been injured, come under attack or have been detained. The total budget for the revised Syrian appeal amounts to 106 million CHF, of which approximately 35 per cent has been raised. For the remaining 65 per cent (69 million CHF), the IFRC is seeking support in cash, in-kind goods or services.
The IFRC is also scaling-up its support, through the Red Cross and Red Crescent network, to an ever-increasing number of Syrian women, men, girls and boys fleeing the violence into neighbouring countries. If this continues, the number of Syrian refugees may exceed 3 million by early 2014.
the number of registered Syrian citizens who have found temporary shelter has passed half a million people. Of these, there are over 200,000 living in camps under temporary protection of the Turkish Government.
This revised emergency appeal will meet the emergency humanitarian requirements of the Syrian refugees and will also provide additional assistance to help the target population cope with harsh winter conditions. The appeal’s budget is of at 45,5 million CHF until June 2014.
For the other neighboring countries such as Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon the need for support is also on the rise.
the number of registered Syrian refugees has increased substantially in the past months. In late-May 2013, 450,000 people had fled into Lebanon, and by October, this number had grown to more than 800,000. This also represents a huge burden on the already stretched host communities. Refugees residing in host communities and informal settlements are often living in precarious conditions, with poor and inadequate sanitation, which increase the risk of communicable diseases among the most vulnerable. The lack of sustainable livelihoods, tensions between communities and the upcoming winter represent some of the main risks for both Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese families.
the influx of refugees is continuing, although at a reduced rate compared to the beginning of this year. An assessment of the current refugee situation in Jordan undertaken by IFRC in August 2013 highlighted the needs of a vulnerable host community whose limited ability to cope is being overwhelmed by the pressure of hosting a huge displaced population. The Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) has proven to be an effective response to the needs of the many vulnerable Syrian refugees and maintenance of this approach is recommended. CTP ensures a quick and secure transfer of cash allocated to beneficiaries, and also provides dignity and flexibility.
specifically in the Iraqi Kurdistan, the sudden rise in the number of Syrians seeking support is stretching the response capacity of government, local communities and other humanitarian stakeholders.Domiz camp, which is already overcrowded, cannot take any more refugees. In Dohuk, almost 100,000 refugees are living in critically overcrowded conditions. The needs for Syrian refugees in Iraq are enormous mainly in the areas of shelter, food, relief, water and sanitation, and health.
The revised emergency appeals for these three countries seeks 43.5 million CHF, with 37 per cent already raised, in cash, in kind, or services to support Red Cross and Red Crescent in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (including the Palestine Red Crescent Society branch in Lebanon) in assisting approximately 291,880 people – almost 60,000 families – (116,000 people in Lebanon, 123,900 in Jordan, and 51,980 in Iraq) until the end of June 2014.