Thursday, 03 July 2014 10:59

UNHCR Iraq Revises Planning Figures and Financial Requirements for Syrian Refugee Support for Remainder of 2014

Funding of Humanitarian Aid Programs Remains Essential to Serve the 225,000 Syrians in Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2014 :  The Syria refugee crisis is fast becoming the world’s largest displacement. Today, there are close to 3 million Syrian refugees, and the number of those seeking safe haven is increasing by 100,000 every month.

 

For Iraq, the monthly refugee influx is lower than had been expected. As a result, UNHCR Iraq has revised its planning figures downward for refugee support for the remainder of 2014. UNHCR is currently basing planning projections on 250,000 Syrians seeking humanitarian aid at the end of 2014. In January of this year, based on then-current arrival numbers, UNHCR Iraq had planned for as many as 400,000 in the RRP6 (Regional Response Plan 6). This lower number of projected refugees represents a decrease of 38 per cent. As a result of this drop in new arrivals, UNHCR Iraq is cutting its financial requirements for the Syrian refugee population from the original $553M to $474M, a decrease of 14 per cent. Some of the potential savings is offset by an increase in the refugees’ vulnerability. Despite the reduction in refugee numbers and overall humanitarian requirements, the refugees’ needs remain dire.

A Challenging Humanitarian Environment:

This has been a difficult year for Iraq, which has been coping with an additional internal displacement of an estimated 1.2M Iraqis since January. Yet extraordinary generosity continues to be the hallmark of this country, as evidenced by ordinary Iraqis opening their homes and the national and regional governments opening borders and doors to their Syrian neighbors. Host communities continue to support these refugees with housing, education, access to health care, and more. Donors have also stepped up, to ensure the most essential protection and assistance needs of Syrian refugees.

Humanitarian Accomplishments in 2014:

There are a number of estimable accomplishments in the first half of 2014: RRP partners have provided more than one hundred thousand people with food assistance, 137,000 with health consultations, and 20,000 children with education; 81,000 Syrians have received shelter and 95,000 more have being assisted with relief items to get them through scorching summers and freezing winters. With current contributions, the humanitarian community has been able to assist and protect some 226,000 refugees.

Today, UNHCR Deputy Representative, Abdul Karim Ghoul, took note of the humanitarian community’s achievements to date, but underscored the need to maintain momentum. “These are extremely challenging times both for Iraq and the country’s increasing refugee population. We must do all we can to ensure there is no letup in our efforts. If there is any reduction in support, we risk undermining all we have accomplished to date.” 

Specific Sectoral Needs Through December, 2014:

For the remainder of 2014, UNHCR and its partners break down the $474M appeal by sector as follows:

Protection USD 55.3M Food security USD 87M Health & Nutrition USD 27.8M Education USD 37.9M Shelter and Settlements USD 57.2M Basic Needs, Non-Food Items (CRIs/NFIs) USD 56.2M Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) USD 83.5M Livelihoods USD 49.2M Camp Management & Coordination USD 19.5M

UNHCR Iraq’s Abdul Karim Ghoul called substantive funding essential to continued progress, and warned that without it, critical programs and support will be at risk.

Consequences of underfunding:

•Individuals with specific protection needs will not be effectively identified and supported, leaving an increased number of women and children at risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse.

•Organizations providing food aid may be forced to reduce rations and voucher amounts to a smaller number of beneficiaries

•Reduced support to host communities in the provision of health services will reduce access to health services for refugees and host communities, at a time when health concerns loom large given last year’s first reported cases of polio in Syria since the year 2000.

•Registration (specifically the needed introduction of iris scans), and support for the Kurdistan Regional Government in issuing residency permits may be jeopardized.

•14,000 school aged children will miss out on school.

•Construction of new refugee camps housing 16,000 people will be jeopardized, leaving crowded conditions at many of Iraq’s camps.

•Winterization assistance for some 120,000 people will not be delivered.

•Cash assistance for 4,000 of the most vulnerable urban refugee families will not be available, which could lead to eviction from rented houses.

 

To see the broad needs for the entire Syria Regional Response Plan through the end of 2014, please visit UNHCR’s Global Website.  You can find Iraq updates at UNHCR Iraq’s Facebook Page, or on Twitter @UNHCRIraq.

 

Media Contacts:

Ned Colt - +964 (0) 780 917 4173 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Catherine Robinson - +964 (0) 771 917 5693 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Liene Veide - +964 (0) 771 842 2682 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR

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