News / Middle East

Lack of Funds Limits Aid to Displaced Syrians

Syrian families await their turn to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) center in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, April 3, 2014.
Syrian families await their turn to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) center in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, April 3, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations reports its multi-billion dollar appeal to assist millions of Syrians displaced by conflict remains seriously underfunded. The U.N. warns this funding shortfall is triggering tensions between refugees and the communities hosting them.
Syrian Refugees by Country
 
  • Lebanon: 1,003,814
  • Turkey: 679,753
  • Jordan: 590,515
  • Iraq: 219,597
  • Egypt: 135,977

Source: UNHCR

In December, the United Nations appealed for a record $6.5 billion to assist some nine million Syrians displaced both within and outside their war-hit country. On Monday, the Kuwaiti government contributed $250 million to this U.N. Fund, with a promise of an additional $250 million in the near future.

Kuwait's generosity has boosted the money received by the United Nations to $1.27 billion. But this still leaves a shortfall of 80 percent. This lack of money is worsening the displacement crisis. U.N. agencies are unable to provide the food, water, shelter, medical and other care desperately needed by the victims of this three-year old civil war.

For example, the World Food Program reports it provided food to a record 4.1 million people displaced inside Syria in March. However, it adds these people have received reduced rations because of the funding shortfall.

On Saturday, one person was killed and dozens wounded during a violent demonstration in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says he hopes this is an isolated incident.

He tells VOA it is very important to make sure adequate assistance is provided to both refugee and local communities to keep tensions from rising

"One of the risks of situations like these is that the relationship between the refugee community and the local, national communities becomes more and more difficult as resources become scarce. Let us not forget that in Jordan, in Lebanon, in other countries, we have more and more people unemployed," he said. "We have more and more people with lower salaries because of the competition in the labor market. We have prices rising, rents rising and that the Syria crisis is having a dramatic impact in the economies and the societies of the neighboring countries."

Guterres says aid agencies are enormously frustrated at the lack of response by the international community to their plea for more money. He says everybody is frustrated at the lack of movement to end this war, which has displaced nearly half of Syria's population over the last three years.

He says everyone must understand there are no winners, only losers in this war.

"This is becoming not only a humanitarian tragedy, but a terrible threat for regional stability and for global peace and security and that those countries come together and find ways to make the parties forge peace," he said. "There is no military solution. The solution is political. There is no humanitarian solution. All we can do is to alleviate the plight of people suffering. All we can do is very little compared with the suffering of the Syrian people."

Guterres says the UNHCR had planned on assisting 4.1 million refugees until the end of the year. But, he agrees this number could escalate. He says he cannot forecast what will happen. This, he says, depends on the evolution of the conflict and on the attitudes of neighboring countries as more people flee across borders

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More