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Int’l agencies announce 2018 regional response plan for Syrian crisis

By JT - Dec 12,2017 - Last updated at Dec 12,2017

Despite the ‘generosity of host countries’, Syrian refugees still suffer harsh living conditions, a UN agency says (File photo)

AMMAN — United Nations agencies and NGO partners on Tuesday released the 2018 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), a $4.4 billion plan designed to support over five million refugees from Syria and the vulnerable host communities in neighbouring countries. 

The UNHCR said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times on Tuesday that despite the generosity shows by neighbouring countries, most Syrian refugee families fall below the poverty line and struggle to meet their basic needs. 

The 3RP aims to address these challenges, bringing together the efforts of some 270 humanitarian and development partners to ensure refugees and host communities receive the support they desperately need, the agency said. 

“The conflict in Syria continues to drive the largest refugee crisis in the world,” said Amin Awad, UNHCR director for the Middle East and North Africa Bureau and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq. 

“While we hope that a political solution is soon on the horizon, it is vital that we continue our support for Syrian refugee families whose needs and challenges increase with every passing year in displacement,” he added.

The situation for the 1.7 million Syrian refugee school-age children remains particularly worrying. 

“While partners have worked to enroll almost one million children already, over 40 per cent of school-age Syrian refugee children remain out of school. These children are truly becoming part of a lost generation. We must collectively do better in 2018,” Awad added. 

Since its inception four years ago, the 3RP has been at the forefront of international efforts to help neighbouring countries deal with the impact of the Syria crisis, which has taken an increasingly significant social and economic toll as the conflict has continued unabated, the statement said. 

“We must recognise the tremendous efforts made by countries and communities hosting refugees from Syria, providing vital and generous support even while facing their own challenges”, said Mourad Wahba, director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States, according to the e-mailed statement.

“As the Syria crisis has become more protracted, host countries have shouldered more of the responsibility for meeting the growing needs of refugees while continuing to support vulnerable communities hosting them.”

“The international community must strengthen its support for host countries in this vital effort,” Wahba said. “3RP partners are pioneers in strengthening the link between humanitarian and development interventions which meet immediate humanitarian needs, while boosting livelihoods, expanding access to critical infrastructure and fostering community development in the long term,” he added. 

“Together, the international community should continue its highest-level support for this coherent approach,” he stressed. 

The 3RP aims to help 5.3 million refugees and 3.9 million members of host communities in 2018 in various sectors, including protection for refugee populations, education, health, food security, livelihoods, and water and sanitation services. 

“In such a volatile region, there is too much at stake, and all 3RP partners look to the international community to generously support our efforts as much as possible,” Awad concluded 

 

 

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