Syria crisis - State as of 20 July 2012
Since the outbreak of violence in Syria in March 2011, the humanitarian situation has continuously deteriorated. The civilian population is suffering from armed violence, human rights violations and lack of access to food, water and direly needed medical assistance. Thousands of people have been killed, hundreds of thousands are trapped and over one million people are displaced. UN-Agencies estimate that more than 1.5 million people are urgently in need of humanitarian assistance. Around 9 million people live in the conflict areas and are directly or indirectly affected. Food prices having tripled, food insecurity has constantly risen since the crisis began and goes well beyond the areas directly affected by hostilities. Humanitarian agencies, such as ICRC, WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF and SARC (Syrian Arab Red Crescent) are scaling-up their assistance. WFP distributes food aid to some 850’000 people and ICRC brought assistance to over 600’000 people.
A major challenge of the humanitarian agencies (UN-organizations and their partners) is financing their humanitarian operations, which currently remain only 20% funded.
The number of people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries is increasing dramatically. Tens of thousands of people have fled into neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, where more than 108’385 refugees are registered and assisted by UN-agencies and their partners (see map). A large number of the displaced people found shelter with host families whose coping mechanisms have been drained. Many of the arriving refugees, particularly the children, are deeply traumatized and in urgent need of a protective environment, basic services and psycho-social support.
Syria is the country with the third largest number of refugees worldwide. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that Syria had hosted 300’000 Iraqis of which over 13’000 are estimated to have returned back to Iraq due the crisis in Syria. Furthermore, Syria hosts approximately 510’000 Palestine refugees registered with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).