Gulf donors and NGOs assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 12 May 2015 View Original


The Syrian crisis has been a turning point in the history of humanitarian enterprise in terms of the increasing role assumed by Arab donors. Not only did Arab funding increase considerably, but the Gulf States have taken a leading role in organising fundraising events for the response. The State of Kuwait hosted two international Humanitarian Pledging Conferences for Syria in January 2013 and 2014 chaired by the Secretary-­‐General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon. In 2013, Gulf donor and Gulf NGO contributions to the Syrian crisis totalled US$ 910.3 million. US$ 690.8 million was given by four Gulf States (Kuwait US$ 325 million, Saudi Arabia US$ 213 million, United Arab Emirates US$ 85.7 million, and Qatar US$ 66.2 million) and US$ 219.5 million by Gulf-­‐based NGOs and state-­‐organized humanitarian institutions. A third of this amount was distributed in Jordan, US$ 166.9 million, by Gulf States and US$ 139.8 million by Gulf Humanitarian Organisations. With a total amount of US$ 2.4 billion pledged, the January 2014 Appeal during the Kuwait II conference was the largest in the history of the United Nations. By May 2014, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates fulfilled their pledges of US$ 300 million and US$million respectively (plus US$ 11.6 million outside the appeal), Qatar gave US$ 11.2 million and Saudi Arabia 17.9 million. Aside from this multilateral assistance, bilateral programmes are also being conducted for development and humanitarian purposes in Syrian-­‐refugee host countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt), which are not included in the pledges made.

As well as directly supporting the United Nations, the Gulf donors are also active through their own state organizations, non-­‐governmental organizations and royal non-­‐profit organizations. In 2013, the Gulf charities contributed US$ 219.5 million to UN agencies (half of it through the initiative of the Kuwaiti-­‐ based International Islamic Charitable Organization (ICCO)). Gulf organizations provide major financial support to Islamic charities. In 2013, Gulf NGOs provided US$ 139.8 million in humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan, according to the documents gathered in the current report. This assistance was implemented in coordination withlocal branches of well-­‐established Islamic charities (60 belonging to the Islamic Charity Centre andto Al Kitab wa Al Sunna). The royal NGOs (Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO), Jordan River Foundation (JRF), Jordan Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) and Noor Hussein Foundation (NHF)) were responsible for channelling% of Gulf assistance.

Gulf donors and local NGOs are able to fill the gap in the procedural UN structure because of their flexibility and ability to reach underserved urban and rural areas. Gulf donors conduct regular coordination meetings with Jordanian implementing NGOs. Only a few UN organizations, such as UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have experience with local Arab NGOs.

In January 2014, Jordan hosted the first humanitarian action conference in the Arab region, organized by The Humanitarian Forum (THF), the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute, UN OCHA, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO). As a continuation of this first conference, UNHCR organized coordination workshop for Gulf donors and Jordanian NGOs in Arabic on 17th April 2014. The primary goals of this workshop were to promote and pay tribute to Arab solidarity regarding the Syrian refugee crisis in order to build common knowledge of the different agencies’ programmes as well as to discuss improved coordination to avoid duplication of assistance.