At its current pace, there will be 3.65 million Syrian refugees by the end of the year. That means an estimated 2 million people will flee from the violence in Syria to a neighboring country in the span of six months.
Another 4.25 million Syrians are displaced within the country and the UN estimates that 6.8 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance. That is more than one out of every four Syrians.
A request for $1.41 billion for the first half of the year received only 70% (corrected) of the funding. Despite the shortfall, 2.4 million people have been reached by feeding programs, one million children have been vaccinated against polio and measles and safe drinking water has been provided for 9 million people.
The continued fighting, increased displacements and worsening situation add up to a greater humanitarian need. An appeal for an additional $4.4 billion for the rest of the year reflects the challenges ahead.
“After more than two years of brutal conflict, almost a third of Syrians need urgent humanitarian help and protection, but the needs are growing more quickly than we can meet them,” said Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos. “Today we launched the biggest humanitarian appeal ever and we are asking our donors to continue to give generously.”
More than one million people are on the run in Syria, and most experts say this massive refugee situation is likely to get much worse before it gets better.
As always, it is often the children who tend to suffer the most.
The crisis in Syria today compares to massive historic tragedies, Iraq in 1991 and Rwanda, 1994, in terms of the number of people displaced. An additional 2 million Syrians are internally displaced. With as many as 8,000 people leaving Syria every day the UN is concerned that the number of refugees may triple by the end of the year.
That means as much as 15% of all Syrians could be refugees by the end of the year.
Several new reports out this week emphasize the harm this crisis is doing to children – a harm that can persist after the crisis passes, which makes responding to it now more urgent than ever. Continue reading →
I discussed the issue of Bangladesh and the Rohingya refugees of Myanmar a bit yesterday. This short report from Al Jazeera provides further information about the ethnic conflict that has lead to the displacement of the Rohingya and how the refugees are living in tents and rely upon food aid.
The Guardian reports the number of people fleeing unstable or dangerous situations in their home country is on the rise:
The world had 20% more asylum-seekers last year than in 2010, according to a report by the United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR. The U.S. received 17% of the world’s 441,000 requests for international protection, followed by France and Germany at 12% and 10% respectively. The UK was seventh worldwide, having received 25,500 in 2011.
Afghanistan saw the greatest number of refugees, about 36,000 in 2011 the UN says, and the United States appears to receive the most requests for asylum, more than 440,000 people or about 17 percent of the world’s total. China produced a high number of people requesting asylum, 24,400, closely followed by Iraq.
The news organization also created an interactive map online showing which countries had the highest rate of change in terms of seeking and giving asylum. Below is a screen grab only.
From The Guardian: An interactive map showing the latest refugee statistics from the UN on where refugees come from, where they go to and how many return.
Afghanistan is the world’s largest contributor to the global refugee population and Pakistan one of the biggest hosts of refugees. In an accompanying article to this map, The Guardian notes that the numbers of people forcibly displaced from their homes is at a 15-year high.
Go to the links to click on the map to explore the data for each country. Below is just a screen grab: