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5 August 2013

In the space of a few months the once-empty four-storey complex has become one of more than 360 informal settlements of refugees surging into Lebanon, a country overwhelmed by a sudden influx from its larger neighbor's civil war. (..) Unlike other countries in the region, Lebanon refuses to let Syrian refugees move into formal camps, a step which would allow them to put down roots and more easily receive systematic aid. (..) According to U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, 666,000 refugees have registered or are waiting to register in Lebanon, compared with 513,000 in Jordan, 431,000 in Turkey and more than 100,000 each in Iraq and Egypt.


30 July 2013

Initially carved out of the desert as a short-term refuge for up to 60,000 refugees, Zaatari has become Jordan’s fourth largest city and the world’s second largest refugee camp behind Dadaab in eastern Kenya. Calling Syrians their brothers and sisters, Jordan allowed refugees to go directly into major cities and already desperate communities. (..) As the war rages, Zaatari is just about full, and Harper says those advances have aided in planning and building another camp capable of housing 130,000 refugees. That’s a lot of pressure when much of the world assumes refugees are safe once they have crossed out of Syria. The high visibility of the camp — two of its most recent visitors were U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida — has kept Harper’s team, NGOs and aid groups “on our toes” with little room for mistakes.


25 July 2013

Western countries including the US and Britain may be asked to accept tens of thousands of Syrian refugees because the exodus from the civil war is overwhelming countries in the region, the UN's refugee chief has warned. (..) Some refugees have found life so wretched in camps that they have started to return home. But at present this is still a trickle.


25 July 2013

There are nearly 2 million refugees as a result of the conflict in Syria, described as the largest humanitarian crisis since the 1994 Rwanda genocide. As the situation escalates, aid agencies and NGOs are struggling to raise enough money to keep up with demand. Here is a roundup of the main appeals. (..) The World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian agency working inside Syria, and is also providing food assistance to refugees in neighbouring countries. Donate online, or via paypal or iPay88.


23 July 2013

“The crisis is becoming regional. It no longer just concerns Syria. (..) Some of the displaced have already been displaced five or six times. (..) No matter what you give a refugee, that's not what he wants. The Syrian refugees want to return to Syria. (..) It is very important for WFP to make sure that humanitarian assistance is given based on neutrality. At WFP we make sure that the only criteria for receiving assistance is need,” said WFP’s Muhannad Hadi.


22 July 2013

While violence continues unabated in many parts of Syria, United Nations agencies are working to deliver humanitarian assistance, in spite of difficult security conditions and restricted access to various areas, a spokesperson for the world body said today. (..) Mr. Martin Nesirky [UN Spokesperson] said the World Food Programme (WFP) is planning to increase its distributions to reach 3 million people, up from the current 2.5 million, by late 2013.


19 July 2013

The United Nations refugee chief today voiced concern about serious gaps in the protection of Syrians who are fleeing the conflict in their country and arriving in Europe, and urged a more generous and consistent approach as they seek shelter and asylum. “Syrians are fleeing one of the worst conflicts the world has seen in decades, and many of them have been subjected to unspeakable human rights violations and persecution in their home country,” António Guterres said in remarks to a meeting in Lithuania of the European Union's Justice and Home Affairs Council.


19 July 2013

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that some 4.5 million Syrians have been displaced within Syria's borders as the country's internecine conflict grinds on, exacting its brutal toll. In Idlib province alone, 300,000 IDPs struggle to survive. (..) Fuel and food prices prices are soaring with wheat production down, silos destroyed and farmers fleeing. Fears continue to mount that Syria's internally displaced will go hungry with aid agencies unable to reach many in need because of security risks. "The Syrian crisis has resulted in heightened vulnerability, massive movements of the population inside the country and a substantial setback in living conditions," the UN Food and Agriculture and World Food Programme said in a joint report earlier this month.


18 July 2013

The United Nations says it needs a record $13 billion to help an unprecedented 73 million people in 24 countries until the end of the year. A mid-year review of the U.N.’s multi-billion-dollar Humanitarian Appeal 2013 shows needs are increasing and more money is required. In December, the United Nations launched an appeal on behalf of 57 million people in desperate need of help in 24 countries. In just a few short months, the number of people needing help spiked to 73 million. The United Nations attributes this increase to the crisis in Syria as well as the deteriorating situation in countries such as the Central African Republic and Mali.


15 July 2013

Last week’s currency crash deepened a steady decline that has helped send prices soaring even for basic foodstuffs and reduced most Syrians’ buying power to a fraction of prewar levels, making it hard even for once-well-off families to afford meat and fish.