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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid