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The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) launched in Ankara

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The conflict in Syria, which enters its fifth year in March 2015, has caused the largest displacement crisis of our time and forced almost 4 million Syrians to flee to neighboring countries and become refugees.

New Horizons- The scale and protracted nature of the crisis is challenging the ability of the international community to meet the continuing need for essential, life-saving humanitarian aid. It is imperative that these humanitarian efforts are coupled with a development-oriented approach to build the resilience of individuals, households, communities and institutions in affected countries.

The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) is a global first for the United Nations (UN) in terms of its response to crises, which was launched in December 2014. It is an inclusive model for delivering an effective, comprehensive, and coordinated response which addresses, through national plans, immediate vulnerabilities, strengthens social cohesion, and builds the resilience of people, communities and national system.

The national launch of the 3RP was held on 19 March 2015 in Ankara with the participation of H.E. Ambassador Naci Koru, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, and H.E. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey along with diplomatic and donor community and high-level representatives from other UN agencies participating in 3RP.

With the massive influx of Syrian refugees over the past four years, Turkey had become the world’s biggest refugee hosting country, and hosting currently over 1.7m registered Syrian refugees of whom around 85% of them are living outside of the camps. The UN and its partners will implement the 3RP in 2015 and 2016 to support the Government of Turkey’s protection and assistance response to meet the needs of refugees and host communities, under the regional and global leadership of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for refugee and resilience components respectively.

In his speech, H.E. Ambassador Naci Koru, Deputy Foreign Minister, underlining that the new emphasis in the 3RP on resilience while retaining the refugee component is appropriate and timely; said “We appreciate the leading role of the UNHCR on the protection of Syrian refugees. Indeed, it has been effective in ensuring protection of the internally displaced Syrians and supporting the refugees in the neighboring countries. With the resilience part of the 3RP, we are pleased that the UNDP will also be included in this process in a more effective way.”

Underlining that the financial burden on Turkey due to the Syrian humanitarian crisis is increasing day by day, with more than USD 5.2 billion spent by Turkey up until now, H.E. Ambassador Naci Koru noted, “We see 3RP 2015-2016 as an opportunity for international community to realize a fair burden-sharing which so far has not been the case.” H.E. Ambassador Naci Koru also added that since the Syrian crisis started Turkish authorities have been closely cooperating with the UN and that Turkey would spare no effort in its commitment to strengthen international cooperation with a view to better managing protecting human lives and life conditions of Syrians.

H.E. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey, underscored the spill-over effects of the crisis on the region, especially in host countries and communities, in addition to its actual impact on the Syrian community. H.E. Kamal Malhotra then noted that the 3RP was developed against this call for a renewed, somewhat different, although equally urgent and joint effort by the international community. He also added, “The 3RP is a regionally coordinated but country-driven process which offers a collaborative platform for a humanitarian, resilience and development response to the Syrian Crisis and its spill-over effects.”

Margarita Vargas Angulo, UNHCR Assistant Representative for Programme and Supply, noted that the refugee part of the 3RP appeal is centered on core protection issues and life-saving response and that it is not an appeal to do a perfect job, but it is for the absolute minimum that is required for people in extremely dire situations. Margarita Vargas Angulo also added “The 3RP brings an opportunity for more partners to play an active role in a refugee response, and we hope by doing such, we can establish a more effective and efficient way in handling large and complex humanitarian crisis.”

Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Turkey, stated “With the resilience approach we aim to build the capacities of households, communities and national institutional systems that have been impacted by the crisis, and provide the strategic, technical, and policy support to advance national responses.” Matilda Dimovska also added that this new approach means a wider range of response, focused more on capacity building for both communities and the institutions and it means to work with a higher number of actors, through new engagement models.

Representing a strategic shift in the approach to delivering aid for the region, 3RP brings together emergency humanitarian operations and host community support with longer-term programmes aimed at boosting resilience. The 3RP requires USD 5.5 billion in funding for 2015, of which USD 3.4 billion is for the refugee response while USD 2.1 billion is for the resilience component. Within the 3RP, Turkey’s financial requirement for 2015 is USD 624,089,475.