Now into its eighth year, the Syria crisis remains unprecedented in scale, severity and complexity
Syria remains one of the largest protection crisis of our time: since the onset of the conflict in 2011, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, widespread and systematic violations of human rights reported, and humanitarian access a major challenge.
In the first few months of 2018, the humanitarian situation for hundreds of thousands of civilians in Syria further deteriorated. Overall, currently 13.1 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection inside Syria. Of these, an estimated 5.6 million people are facing acute needs.
Humanitarian operations in Syria provide a critical life-line for millions of people, with the UN and partners scaling-up rapidly to meet the needs of those impacted by recent conflict and military activity through leveraging all response modalities from inside Syria and cross border operations.
Meanwhile, the conflict in Syria continues to drive one of the largest displacement crisis in the world with over 6.6 million displaced in country and over 5.6 million Syrian refugees registered across the region as of April 2018.
Refugee families have become increasingly vulnerable with each passing year of displacement, reaching over 80% of people in some host countries while 35% of refugee children are still out of school across the region despite our best efforts.
Host governments and communities have been extremely generous in hosting refugees since the crisis started; delivering a global good despite significant economic and social costs.
The deteriorating situation inside many parts of Syria makes it clear that the conditions are not yet conducive for voluntary return to Syria in safety and dignity, even though some returns are occurring to Syria, in parallel with large-scale, on-going displacement.
As long as the situation remains unconducive for returns, it is therefore essential that we continue our support to refugees and impacted and vulnerable host communities in host countries, as well as further boosting the capacity of national and local authorities to respond.
While recognizing the continued need for humanitarian action, resilience building continues to be critical in the response to protracted crisis, including through livelihoods & access to basic services which is necessary to build individual and community self-sufficiency, and address social tension in hosting countries.
Collectively, in 2018, the UN and partners aim to reach some 10.5 million people with direct assistance and 11.2 million people with service delivery inside Syria; and over nine million people, inclusive of refugees and vulnerable host communities, across the region.
Some US$3.51 billion is required for inside Syria while the 3RP requires USD$5.6 billion to address immediate needs while also building resilience, comprising up to USD 1.2 billion in multi-year funding already committed, as well as USD 4.4 billion appealed for by UN and NGO partners.
While thanking donors for their generosity over the last few years, the UN and partners response efforts are critically under-funded both inside Syria and across the region, with inside Syria response funded at 22.8% and the 3RP funded at 27%.
At this critical juncture in the crisis, flexible, un-earmarked and timely funding in line with the Grand Bargain commitments is urgently needed.
Without a significant injection of funds, critical programmes inside Syria and across the region will have to be reduced or cut, putting lives at risk and making it much more difficult for families to make ends meet.
What the Syrian people, wherever they may be, need most of all is a political solution that brings an end to the conflict, eases the suffering of civilians, and enables the recovery all Syrians long for to begin.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.