More than 11 million Syrians displaced by conflict

Syria Lead
Syria Lead

The Syrian crisis, entering its ninth year this week, has displaced more than 11 million people.

Further insecurity and continued displacement, as well as large-scale humanitarian and protection needs, are expected in the year ahead.

Since 2011, IOM has provided life-saving assistance and early-recovery and resilience programmes to many affected by the conflict inside Syria and across the region.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing to the international community for USD 207 million to continue its lifesaving assistance.

“IOM has been steadfast in its commitment to assisting a Syrian civilian population that is still struggling to overcome the impact of the conflict,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies.

“Even as short-term prospects for recovery remain grim, the international community must continue to focus on saving lives and supporting the host countries that have generously offered public services, protection and safety to millions over eight years.”

Today’s request by IOM comes as part of a more comprehensive pair of inter-agency appeals: The Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria and The Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan. These funds will allow IOM to support more than 1.8 million people in Syria and neighbouring countries in 2019.

As of February 2019, it is estimated that 5.7 million people remain displaced within Syria.

An additional 5.6 million Syrians, nearly half of whom are children, have sought refuge in countries throughout the region.

With limited access to employment opportunities, education or healthcare, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in dire conditions either in camps or in informal displacement sites. Many of these sites are overcrowded, some housing four times their intended capacity.

For most IDPs, return is not likely in 2019. Moreover, only 30 per cent of the families recently interviewed by local partners expressed their intention to return.

Through IOM’s Whole-of-Syria approach, in place since 2014, lifesaving, resilience and recovery support have been dispensed to millions across Syria – including in hard-to-reach areas where at least 1.1 million people need assistance.
IOM assisted in 2018 nearly 650,000 Syrian and host country citizens in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

Funds received from this year’s appeal will allow IOM to offer shelter, site management and water and sanitation, protection and psychosocial support.

Core relief items – such as blankets, kitchen sets, solar lamps and other materials – also are to be distributed as part of IOM’s response, as well as resources to implement critical coordination services on behalf of other humanitarian agencies.

Resources for early recovery and resilience activities – such as community revitalization, education, entrepreneurship training and grants and livelihood assistance – are also priorities of the 2019 response plan.

In addition, IOM strives to enhance long-term, durable solutions for displaced Syrians.

In 2018, IOM supported over 30,000 Syrian refugees with resettlement and family reunification.

In 2019, IOM will continue to work closely with UNHCR and partners to ensure any initiative in relation to returns is framed by the key principles of dignity, safety and voluntariness.

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