CAIRO (17 February 2015) – As Syria’s war heads towards a fifth year, the United Nations and partners launched a major new humanitarian and development appeal, requesting over US$8.4 billion in funds to help nearly 18 million people in Syria and across the region in 2015.
Today the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) Egypt chapter is launched jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the United Nations in the capital Cairo.
The Egypt appeal is addressing some of the needs of almost six million people; including an estimated 300,000 Syrian refugees (136,254 of whom are registered with UNHCR) living in the most impacted areas in Egypt, as well as the most affected communities hosting them. The government of Egypt, the United Nations, and their partners are appealing for almost US $380 million to cover both the refugee and resilience components in 2015.
The crisis has exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities in the impacted communities and has put pressure on the local economy, especially in education and health services.
“In spite of the already strained Egyptian economy and infrastructure during the last three years, the Egyptian people and government took a decision since the beginning of the refugee crisis to provide our Syrian brothers full and free access to the same public services rendered to Egyptians. The same health care, education and higher education, which are massively subsidized and are often provided virtually free of charge, ”said Ambassador Abderahman Salah, the Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and Middle Eastern Affairs. “Consequently, Egypt has the highest enrolment rates of the Syrian refugee children with 39,314 school students and almost 14,000 university students registered this year” the Assistant Minister added.
“The Syria conflict has caused the largest population displacement of our time and has had unprecedented social and economic impact on countries in the region. The scale and protracted nature of the crisis is challenging the ability of international partners to meet the continuing lifesaving humanitarian aid and address economic and social needs.” said Ms. Anita Nirody, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt. “It is therefore imperative that humanitarian and development approaches are integrated to build the resilience of individuals, communities and institutions in the affected countries.”
The refugee component of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan includes food aid, relief items and cash to meet basic household needs as well as registration services. The resilience component is about helping the most impacted host communities in Egypt, who will benefit from assistance programmes and an enhanced focus on livelihoods and the creation of economic opportunities.
Beyond those receiving direct support, benefit from upgrades to local infrastructure and services in areas such as health, education, water and sewage, training and capacity building of service providers, and policy and administrative support to local and national authorities.
“The Syrian refugees have exhausted their savings since the beginning of the crisis, which is going into its 5th year. In addition the government of Egypt has been also under pressure to cope with the increasing economic pressures that the whole region has been going through” said Ms. Elizabeth Tan, UNHCR Regional Representative in Cairo. “Bringing both the refugee and resilience components together will bring together humanitarian and development for sustainable national-led response. It will enhance response effectiveness and promote greater consistency in delivery,” she added.
The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan originally launched in Berlin in December 2014, represents a strategic shift in the approach to delivering aid for the region. The two-year plan (2015 – 2016) brings together emergency humanitarian operations and host community support with longer-term programmes aimed at boosting resilience.
For more information please contact:
United Nations – Ragnhild Ek, Senior External Relations Officer – Ek@unhcr.org +02-0120-0421-996
Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Ms. Heba Ismail, Second Secretary (Office of Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and Middle Eastern Affairs) – firstname.lastname@example.org – +02- 0122-4583-283
Link to the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan – Egypt chapter