About the Crisis

The Syria Crisis is the largest political, humanitarian and development challenge of our time.

Women walking through Qushtapa Refugee Camp in the Erbil region of northern Iraq. UNHCR / Cengiz Yar

Since the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) for the Syria crisis was first launched in December 2014, the humanitarian and development situation has deteriorated or continues to be under threat both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries.

The Syria crisis has displaced more than five million Syrian refugees into Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Across 3RP countries, limited livelihoods opportunities, compounded by increased indebtedness and the exhaustion of savings, further exacerbated protection risks and negative coping mechanisms.

There are 13.5 million people in need, of whom 6 million are children and 6.15 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs). A political solution is urgently needed to end the conflict in Syria and bring about peace, stability and eventual voluntary return of displaced people in safety and with dignity. After more than six years, refugees from Syria are losing hope that a political solution will soon be found to end the conflict in their homeland. They have limited livelihood and education opportunities, and living conditions in exile are steadily deteriorating. Savings have been depleted and valuables have been sold to cover rent, food and other basic needs. Refugees have become increasingly vulnerable to protection risks, and many resort to negative coping mechanisms such as child labour and early marriage. The crisis continues to have an enormous social and economic impact on the host countries, with many local, municipal and national services such as health, education and water under severe strain. Vulnerable host community populations have reported decreases in wages and deteriorating working conditions due to increased competition for low- and un-skilled jobs.

Two international conferences specific to the Syria crisis were held in January and April 2017: the Helsinki Conference on Supporting Syrians and the Region and the Brussels conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region. The international donor community confirmed USD 6 billion in funding for 2017 to support the 3RP, HRP and through other channels. In addition, a total of 25 donors demonstrated their commitment by allocating USD 3.7 billion as multi-year (2018-2020) funding for the Syria crisis response.

Despite these considerable achievements, the 3RP is funded only at 49 per cent of the inter-agency appeal as of 11 October 2017. This is significantly lower than the corresponding levels in previous years. In this, the third year of the implementation of 3RP, the resilience component remains particularly underfunded. This critical component, which aims at bridging the gap between humanitarian and development activities in the protracted crisis, has received 39 per cent of funding requested (USD 751 million). Further advocacy is required to demonstrate efficacy of resilience so that partners will be able to better harness funding opportunities. The refugee component is relatively better funded, with 56 per cent of needs received (USD 1.53 billion), though critical shortages remain.

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