News / Middle East

UN Ramps Up to Meet Syrian Refugee Needs

Syrian refugees wait to be registered by UNHCR staff in Lebanon. (© UNHCR/M.Abu Asaker)
Syrian refugees wait to be registered by UNHCR staff in Lebanon. (© UNHCR/M.Abu Asaker)
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein
— The U.N. refugee agency is expanding registration and assistance for the thousands of Syrians fleeing daily into neighboring countries.

At a Tuesday press conference in Geneva, the UNHCR warned it won't be able to maintain the ambitious program for too long without increased funding from the international community.

One month ago, the United Nations appealed for $1.1 billion to aid Syrian refugees this year. The UNHCR says it has received only 18 percent of what it needs to provide assistance to the growing numbers of vulnerable refugees in the region.

Staff in Lebanon is registering, on average, 1,500 refugees a day and is increasing its ability to respond to the growing needs, according to the UN refugee agency.

Aid workers in Jordan began an accelerated registration program in the capital, Amman on Tuesday.

The aim is to process up to 1,400 Syrian refugees a day, a number which will increase once the registration center in Irbid, in northern Jordan, begins to operate.

“Za’atri camp has experienced a huge increase in arrival numbers with 8,821 Syrian refugees crossing the border in the past five days," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said. "Refugees have been arriving throughout the night and into the day marking something of a change from the previous arrival patterns. Over 21,000 refugees have crossed into Jordan since the start of this month. New arrivals reporting increasing desperation in their search for safety.”

About 7,700 refugee families in Jordan are benefiting from cash support, according to Edwards. That's 60 percent more than in November. But, because of a money shortfall, he says the UNHCR is unable to assist all 8,523 families that are supposed to receive cash assistance this month.

He notes 80 percent of Syrian refugees are living in urban areas, so cash aid is a boon for them. He says it allows the most vulnerable households to cover their basic needs, such as rental costs.

Of the more than 73,000 Syrian refugees now registered in Iraq, Edwards says more than half are living in refugee camps, with 35 percent living in urban areas. Women and children make up more than half of the Syrian refugee population.

Edwards says the Turkish government is currently hosting more than 156,800 refugees in 15 camps in seven provinces.

A UNHCR analysis of data for over 278,000 Syrian refugees registered in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt shows more than half are children. It finds one in five households is headed by females, and close to 90 percent of the refugees arrived last year.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Angie Cranford from: Taft, California
January 22, 2013 10:17 PM
Can you please let me know if anyone is going to be taking a shipment of supplies such as warm clothing and blankets to the refugee camp mentioned here. I would like to help somehow. Please let me know. Thank You, Angie Cranford

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid