“The suffering continues; displacement continues and few Syrians return; the ongoing economic crisis; and the violence continues, with a constant risk of escalation – even if there is a sort of military stalemate. Tragically, the Syrians have never needed your support more than they do right now,” Mr. Pedersen told attendees of the donor conference titled “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.”
“During these years, my predecessors and I have consistently called for a nationwide ceasefire and a Syrian-led and Syrian-controlled comprehensive political solution – one that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, who respect the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Syria. But let me be frank. We are far from this political solution,” he added.
More than 26 million people need help
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recalls that nearly 26.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance: 14.6 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria – an increase of 1.2 million from 2021 – and around 12 million people in the region, including 5.6 million Syrian refugees and members of host communities.
“In 2022, our two crisis response plans are requesting $10.5 billion. It is to support the Syrians and the host countries. This includes $4.4 billion for the response inside Syria and an additional $6.1 billion to support refugees and host communities in the region. Appeals are funded at 8% and 11%, respectively,” OCHA said.
Over 90% of Syrians live in poverty
In a joint statement, the heads of humanitarian, Martin Griffiths, refugee, Filippo Grandi, and United Nations development, Achim Steiner, say that as the Syrian crisis enters its 12th year without a solution, it is the Syrian people who are paying the price and that the needs are greater than ever, even as the conflict subsides in intensity.
More than 90% of Syrians live in poverty. Gender-based violence and risks to children are on the rise. Potential exposure to explosive devices remains high. Food insecurity has reached new highs; 12 million people go hungry every day. Nearly one in two Syrian children is out of school and vulnerable to child labor, early and forced marriage, trafficking and recruitment by armed actors.
The three senior officials note that the international community has shown real generosity for many years and that much has been done to support the people, but that investments in early recovery inside Syria are necessary, along with humanitarian aid. They urge the international community not to forget the Syrians and the crisis they are enduring and donors to be generous.
They also point out that in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, which have generously hosted refugees and continue to do so, socio-economic pressures are also increasing.