Syrian civilians unable to escape - nrc.no

Syrian civilians unable to escape

A Syrian mother and her children wait at the arrival centre at the Sahela border crossing between Syria and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. When the border reopened in August 2013, more than 33,000 refugees crossed in just five days. Photo: NRC/Christian Jepsen September 2013
A Syrian mother and her children wait at the arrival centre at the Sahela border crossing between Syria and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. When the border reopened in August 2013, more than 33,000 refugees crossed in just five days. Photo: NRC/Christian Jepsen September 2013
Syrian civilians trying to escape the brutal war inside Syria, risk being turned back at the borders and the number of refugees finding safety abroad has declined dramatically.

Faced with limited international support and huge strains on their economies, the countries neighbouring Syria are making it harder for refugees to escape Syria. Many civilian men, women and children cannot flee to safety, according to the report “No Escape”, released by Norwegian Refugee Council and International Rescue Committee (IRC)


People fleeing from Syria to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in August 2013. The border has been intermittently closed for the past 18 months, with the notable exception of a period in the summer of 2013 and from January to April 2014. Photo: Christian Jepsen, NRC

“Humanitarian organizations have repeatedly warned that the capacity of the host-communities have been stretched to the limits and argued for better international burden-sharing. What we are witnessing now are the results of our failure to deliver the necessary support to the region. We are witnessing a total collapse of international solidarity with millions of Syrian civilians”, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.

On average more than 150,000 Syrians were able to cross into neighbouring countries each month in 2013. In October this year, the number of new refugees registered by UNHCR had declined by 88% to only 18,453.

“Civilians are not getting out and sufficient aid is not getting in. It is a collective betrayal against men, women and children inside Syria, who are living in danger and destitution and are in acute need of assistance”, Egeland adds.

Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq have generously received more than three million Syrian refugees. At the same time the international community has failed to provide the necessary support, and the humanitarian appeal to assist refugees in the host countries is only half-funded.  This is resulting in huge gaps in the assistance to the displaced families and is putting increased pressure on the host communities’ economies and public services, like schools and health facilities, according to the report.

"Syria's neighbours are increasingly unable to maintain the levels of hospitality they have provided to Syrian refugees since the conflict began. After three and half years of absorbing more refugees per capita than any other country in the world, countries like Lebanon and Jordan can no longer cope with the increased burden. They need our help”, says President of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband.

Countries outside the region have only agreed to receive a total of about 50.000 quota refugees from Syria, less than 2% of the total refugee population.

"There is much the world can do to share the burden with Syria's neighbours. As well as providing direct financial assistance to plug gaps in basic services and offer long-term development support, the international community can make the symbolically important step of agreeing to take in its fair share of refugees. More refugees have been displaced from Syria in the last month than have been resettled outside the region in the last three years.  It is a depressing failure of international solidarity, and should spur the world's wealthier countries into action," Miliband adds.
 



PRESS CONTACTS:

Paul Donohoe, Press Manager, International Rescue Committee +44 7779 624 385

Tuva Raanes, Head of Media and Communications Section, NRC +47 93231883



Syrian civilians trying to escape the brutal war inside Syria are being turned back at the borders and the number of refugees finding safety abroad has declined dramatically. People are not getting out and insufficient aid is getting in.



On average more than 150,000 Syrians were able to cross into neighbouring countries each month in 2013. In October this year, the number of new refugees registered by UNHCR had declined to less than 20,000.



What we are witnessing now is the results of our collective failure to deliver the necessary support to the region, argues the report. It calls for wealthy countries to scale up the support to the region, so that neighbouirng countries are able to keep their borders open, and allow a larger number of refugees to resettle in third countries.


Key Figures:

Population:
22 million 
New refugees from in 2014:
1 645 701
Total number of refugees from:
4,8 million
Internally Displaced Persons:
6,5 million
Refugees from other countries:
678 629
Voluntary returns in 2014:
-
Figures updated February 2015

Report - "No Escape"

Key Indicators in 2013:

  •  Shelter
    # of classrooms constructed or rehabilitated 91
    # of people receiving NFI kits (Shelter) 89478
    # of housing units constructed or rehabilitated 249

    Total # of direct beneficiaries 187726

  •  WASH
    # of latrines constructed or rehabilitated 101
    # of people receiving NFI kits (WASH) 137400
    # of water points constructed or rehabilitated 200

    Total # of direct beneficiaries 79456
     
  •  Education 
    # of partners trained 18 
    # of of peope receiving NFI kits (Education) 38800
    # of teachers trained 30

     
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Updated October 2015