The United Nations made an “urgent and critical” appeal on Thursday for donations to its main aid budget for Syrian refugees, currently four-fifths short of the total needed for the year.
“The mathematics are straightforward — we asked for $5.6 billion (4.8 billion euros)” for 2018, said Amin Awad, the U.N. refugee agency’s director for the Middle East and North Africa. “We are in May and we have about 20 percent of it.”
“U.N. programmes and government entities that are supporting refugees… are running out of funds,” the UNHCR official told journalists in Jordan’s capital.
UN : Syria continues to drive the largest refugee crisis in the world – there are over 5.6 million Syrian refugees registered, with over 2.6 million children
— alex thomson (@alextomo) May 30, 2018
Donors at an April conference in Brussels pledged some $4.4 billion to help civilians affected by Syria’s devastating seven-year war, but much of that money has yet to arrive, Awad said.
World Food Programme regional director Muhannad Hadi voiced gratitude “for all the support the donors have given us, but we stress on the importance of continuing this support until a political solution is found”.
Since war broke out in 2011, half of Syria’s population has been displaced, including more than five million outside the country and another six million internally displaced.
Most of the refugees are in countries bordering Syria, including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, whose governments have repeatedly called for more help in supporting these populations.