Appeal Target: US$8,328,750
Balance Requested: US$8,328,750
With the Syria crisis continuing into its eighth year, more than half of the population of Syria has been forcibly displaced from their homes, and many people have been displaced multiple times.
With the Syria crisis continuing into its eighth year, more than half of the population of Syria has been forcibly displaced from their homes, and many people have been displaced multiple times. The number of daily displacements remains high, with approximately 920,000 as Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) in the first 4 months of 2018 (at a rate of almost 7,600 newly displaced persons each day, according to the UN-HNO 2018). UNHCR, estimates that 13.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, and almost 6.6 million, have been internally displaced (UNHCR). There are 12.8 million who require health assistance, with almost 3 million living in UN-declared hard-to-reach or besieged areas exposed to serious protection threats. Estimates show that 2.9 million people inside Syria are living with a disability (Humanitarian International Plan), while almost 5.6 million people are in acute need due to multiple displacements, exposure to hostilities, and limited access to basic goods and services, and 4.2 million in need of shelter intervention (HNO 2018, OCHA 2017). Children and youth comprise more than half of the displaced, as well as half of those in need of critical humanitarian assistance.
While no large influxes of Syrian refugees across borders have been witnessed lately, an additional 570,000 Syrian refugees across the region were registered in 2017, increasing the number of registered refugees from 4.8 million to 5.3 million (3RP- Regional Overview 2018-2019). The critical response for the refugee situation continues to fall primarily on the neighbouring countries in the region (mainly Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey) who continue to host a large number of registered refugees per capita. The already vulnerable and fragile context of the host community population is further exacerbated as one in three people in Lebanon is a refugee. In Jordan, the ration is slightly higher (one in 12 people is a refugee) but the socio-economic pressure on the country is similar. While some international efforts for a political settlement resulted in talks between various conflicted parties and the establishment of deescalation zones, the direct impact on Syrians’ safety, protection and lives is still not clear.
The overall level of violence has generally decreased in most areas of Syria (primarily those linked to deescalation zones in southern Syria, northern Homs), but it continues in Afrin and Azaz (northwest Aleppo). The protracted crisis in Syria has resulted in a quasi-permanent presence of a Syrian refugee community in both Jordan and Lebanon. In Jordan there are about 1.4 million Syrians, including over 650,000 registered refugees in Jordan. More than 80% of Syrian refugees living in the host community live below the poverty line, in the country’s most disadvantaged communities.
After three years of closing the borders between Jordan and Syria, the Nassib border crossing was reopened in mid-October 2018, a route considered to carry billions of dollars’ worth of trade for the countries of the region, including Jordan and Lebanon. This holds expectations to improve the economy in the region. Syrian refugees still require humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs. Lebanon hosts almost 1 million Syrians, spread throughout 251 different localities, most vulnerable cadastres in the country where people live in dire need of humanitarian assistance, mostly in the Bekaa and North however not withholding any other area (Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) 2017-2020). In both countries, humanitarian assistance for refugees and vulnerable host communities remains critical. As witnessed in 2017, an increase in restrictions on refugees applied at the local level in Lebanon will likely continue. These restrictions generate protection issues and further curtail living conditions as refugees face expulsions from certain geographical areas, evictions from property, curfews and raids by municipal police and security forces. The Government of Lebanon’s residency requirements for Syrian refugees pose additional challenges to refugees. This comes in addition to existing risks and vulnerabilities to exploitation and abuse, particularly related to livelihoods.
In both Lebanon and Jordan, security considerations increasingly dominate discussions relating to the Syrian refugee issue. Lebanon de facto closed its border in 2015; Jordan did the same in 2016. While social tensions between refugees and host communities result from the competition for limited services and scarce resources, refugees continue to face obstacles to renew their legal stay, limiting their capacity to access available services. In some of the neighbouring countries, Syrian refugees are subject to curfews, arbitrary arrests, forced encampment as well as restrictions on movement and access to services. This conundrum disproportionately affects their capacity to work in compliance with the employment legislation of host countries and consequently pushes the most vulnerable segments of the refugee population—this after exhausting their coping resources due to protracted displacement into a downward spiralling socio-economic vulnerability and negative coping mechanisms.
ACT Jordan-Syria-Lebanon (JSL) Forum members have been able to respond and successfully provide humanitarian assistance to affected populations. Through strong coordination with INGO/LNGO forums and sector cluster workings groups in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, ACT JSL members are well-informed and prepared to continue their humanitarian response in key priority areas (shelter/NFI, cash assistance, health and nutrition, food security, livelihoods, WASH, protection/psychosocial and education). ACT JSL members, together with other humanitarian actors, participate regularly in vulnerability assessments, data gathering, and focus group discussions for various sector-related programming to adapt to best practices, changing regulations and security situations to ensure a timely and coordinated response. With only 34.4% of 2018 Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan (3RP) funded by end of June 2018, humanitarian needs will persist among the refugee and vulnerable host community population in 2019.