Regional activity highlights
The conflict in Syria has caused the world’s worst humanitarian emergency since World War II, according to the United Nations, requiring the biggest relief operation in its 64-year history. The complex civil war in Syria has intensified recently with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launching a sudden and murderous offensive across the region, forcing an average of one out of eight Syrians to flee across the border to neighbouring countries and has placed nearly half of the Syrian population and another 2 million displaced Iraqi persons in need to urgent help. Today, more than 3.5 million Syrian women and girls of reproductive age, of which 432,000 are pregnant, and more than 250,000 Iraqi displaced women are in dire need of urgent health and protection support.
An alarming and sudden Syrian refugee inflow took place, with more than 160,000 Syrian Kurds fleeing the advance of ISIS fighters and pouring across the border into Turkey. The movement of Syrian refugees continues to place an immense burden on neighbouring countries, increasing the pressure on the fragile systems of countries that are already suffering economically, socially as well as politically.
United Nations agencies, including UNFPA, are struggling to deal with the continuing influx and to meet refugees’ minimum needs due to the lack of sufficient funds and the restriction of movement due to insecurity. The humanitarian situation is getting worse: refugees are struggling to cope with the current situation with women in particular living in distress, suffering from poor living conditions and in fear of sexual harassment and exploitation