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. Over the last 12 months, the number of registered Syrian refugees in the Republic of Turkey, the Lebanese Republic, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Iraq, and the Arab Republic of Egypt has increased by more than 1 million, bringing the overall total to almost 4.3 million. Based on the most recent trends in displacement and population growth, and with access to safety in some countries becoming increasingly managed, it is expected that some 4.7 million Syrian refugees will be registered in the region by the end of 2016. Fighting has intensified in almost all Syrian governorates, driving thousands more people from their homes. The 2016 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan estimates that there are 13.5 million people in need, of whom 6 million are children and 6.5 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 almost five 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. With the 3RP only 50 per cent funded in 2015, the shortfall in funding for humanitarian and resilience-building activities is exacerbating these problems and is among the triggers for the large-scale movement of refugees further afield, including more than 440,000 Syrians who have arrived in Europe by sea in 2015.

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