News / Middle East

UN Seeks More Money to Help Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees seek help in LebanonSyrian refugees seek help in Lebanon
x
Syrian refugees seek help in Lebanon
Syrian refugees seek help in Lebanon
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA -- U.N. humanitarian agencies are appealing for $193 million to help an anticipated 185,000 Syrian refugees until the end of the year.  The agencies say the number of people fleeing to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq is increasing daily.  

The agencies say the crisis in Syria is getting worse and this is pushing more and more people to seek refuge in neighboring countries.  As a consequence, they say the $84 million appeal they launched in March isn’t enough to meet the growing needs.  More money is urgently needed.

The U.N. refugee agency reports a significant increase in the number of Syrian refugees - from 40,000 three months ago to 96,000 now.

It says humanitarian agencies have been registering an average of more than 500 Syrian refugees a day.  But it says other refugees are not registered, so it is difficult to know the true extent of the exodus.

UNHCR’s Regional Coordinator for Syrian Refugees, Panos Moumtzis, says most of the refugees flee at night and avoid official crossing points.  He says those who are wounded are taken immediately to health centers.

He says the registration of Syrian refugees is a voluntary, but rigorous process.

“Ensuring the civilian character of refugee camps or refugee settings is essential for us," said Panos. "Basically, the people we are assisting are 100 percent civilians.  We do not assist, we do not intervene in the refugee camps helping military or any soldiers.  It is purely civilian… For us, ensuring the civilian character of the humanitarian response is really crucial.”   

Moumtzis says most of the refugees, 65 percent, flee from the Homs area into Jordan and Lebanon.  Most of the other refugees are from Daraa and Idlib.  He says 75 percent of the refugees are women and children.  And, half of the total refugee population is children.

The deputy director of emergency programs at the U.N. Children’s Fund, Dermot Carty, tells VOA the women and children are very stressed when they arrive in one of the countries of shelter.  He says they are always exhausted and worrying about their future.

“And that is why we have been stressing the importance of things like the creation of a protective environment and education," said Carty. "We have experience from this and other places where getting children back into as normal a life as possible is a reinvigorating factor, where they can go to school, they can feel it is a safe and secure environment.  Where necessary there can be referrals for those children who have witnessed or suffer trauma themselves.”   

The UNHCR says it has received only about 26 percent of the $84 million it sought in its March appeal. The agency says it is crucial that donors give generously to fund the rising needs of the growing and vulnerable refugee population.

It says money from the latest appeal will be used for shelter, registration, protection, food, water, sanitation, health and education for Syrian refugees in camps.  The funds also will assist those who remain in urban areas and the people who are hosting refugees.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid