OVER 2 million people have fled Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, making this one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history with no end yet in sight. The refugee population in the region could reach over 4 million by the end of 2014. The inter-agency Syria Regional Response Plan is appealing for US$ 4.2 billion to cover the needs of 4.1 million refugees fleeing Syria and 2.7 million people in host communities in the region from 1 January to 31 December 2014.
The number of refugees in 2011 was just 8,000; at the end of 2012 it was less than 500,000; now it has overpassed 2,000,000. Most of the Syrian refugees go to Lebanon (873,291), Jordan (582,166) and Turkey (571,684).
Based on this evidence, International donors meeting in a conference in Kuwait City on Wednesday January 15 pledged more than US$2.4 billion to help the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and other aid organizations respond to the massive humanitarian needs generated by the crisis in Syria.
The press release during that conference said that 39 countries pledged to help alleviate the suffering of an estimated 9.3 million women, children and men in need in Syria and 2.3 million refugees who have sought protection in neighbouring countries.
"This conflict has not only caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades, but it is also the biggest threat to global peace and security the world has seen in a long time," High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres was quoted as saying. "For the international community, responding to the needs we have presented here today is therefore more than a question of generosity. It is, in fact, a matter of enlightened self-interest."
The UN's strategies for Syria and neighbouring countries in 2014 aim at providing life-saving food supplies, water, shelter, medicines, health services, and supporting livelihoods. The appeals request $6.5 billion and the pledging conference hosted by Kuwait is a step towards reaching that target.
LTEconomy, 24 January 2014
From United Nation, Gennaio 2014