Syria + 1 more

UNHCR Syria update Aug 2008

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Origin
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Highlights

9 Year Old Boy Dies at Al Tanf Refugee Camp

A nine year old boy died after he was hit by a truck that reversed into Al Tanf refugee camp. This is the second child to die after being hit by a vehicle in the past 2 years, with the close proximity of the road to the camp making this an ongoing risk for the camp population.

2008 Budget

The available funds for the 2008 Supplementary Budget for Emergency Assistance for Iraqi Refugees (SB) are now as follows:

- Total: USD 97,136,613.96

Including:

- General projects: USD 49,952,044.99

- Education USD 22,353,769.24

- Health USD 24,830,799.73

Returns to Iraq

UNHCR's position remains the same regarding return to Iraq. UNHCR will not encourage or promote return. However, UNHCR is aware that some refugees are returning or wishing to return. In the coming weeks a dedicated section at the Douma Registration Centre will be set up for Iraqis that wish to approach UNHCR for assistance to return on an individual basis.

New International NGOs: IECD and Islamic Relief France

The French INGO Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement (IECD) has signed an MoU with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. Its project is to create a Centre for professional training and socio-cultural activities in Jaramana. The Centre will focus on training of young Iraqi refugees.

Islamic Relief France has also signed its MoU with SARC and in 2008 plans to work on hygiene kits and winter clothes distribution outside Damascus.

Iraqi Refugee Numbers

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there are 1.2 million Iraqi residents in Syria with current valid visas. It is not known how many Iraqis are staying without valid visas. The MFA will give a further breakdown of this information in the future.

To date, UNHCR has registered 219,010 Iraqi refugees (51% male, 49% female).

- 25,729 registered since 2007 are classified as victims of torture/violence in Iraq.

- 35,092 registered since 2007 have an important medical condition.

- 6,316 registered since 2007 are considered to be women at risk.

Registered active Iraqi population by Ethnicity (as of 31/08/08)

Nationality
Individuals
Percentage
Arab
185,937
84.7
Armenian
1,505
0.8
Assyrian
7,649
3.9
Chaldean
16,657
7.5
Kurd
2,770
1.5
Turkmen
516
0.3
Other
3,976
1.4

Registered active Iraqi population by Religion (as of 31/08/08)

Religion
Individuals
Percentage
Muslim - Sunni
130,648
57.9
Muslim - Shiite
38,902
19.6
Christian
30,196
14.4
Sabean-Mandean
8,963
3.9
Yezidi
1,218
0.7
Islam (not specified)
6,815
2.9
Other
2,268
0.6

UNHCR Registration

UNHCR has a registration team of 8 international Supervisors, 4 Senior Registration Clerks and 40 national registration interviewers working in the main registration centre of Douma and in various sites in Syria during mobile registration exercises.

The waiting time for refugees to obtain a registration appointment has been reduced to 6 weeks and the waiting time for renewal appointments (whenever refugees' information needs to be updated) has been cut from close to 7 months to 6 weeks also, except in urgent cases, and is likely to continue to drop. All refugee certificates issued or renewed are now valid for 2 years instead of one.

Over 2000 new registration appointments were issued in August at Douma Registration Centre, continuing the high rate recorded last month. According to the Iraqis who come for an appointment slip, the main motivation is to gain access to subsidized medical services. Food and cash assistance are the next main reasons for approaching UNHCR.

Mobile Registration in Aleppo, which started on 20 July 2008 continued until 14 August. The operation was temporarily interrupted to avoid an overlap with the Aleppo food distribution exercise and will recommence in the second week of September.

Since October 2007 UNHCR has launched Mobile Registration exercices for Iraqi populations residing in Hassakah, Abu Kamal, Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Homs, Tartous and Lattakia.