Read caption Photo: NRC/Christian Jepsen

What’s driving Syrian refugees to despair?

Published 01. Feb 2016
As world leaders and international donors meet in London this week to pledge money for the Syria crisis, millions of refugees across the Middle East are being driven into further despair.

The Norwegian Refugee Council is publishing new data showing the protection failures with regard to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.

Among the figures showing the growing desperate situation for refugees we find that:

  • In Lebanon, an estimated 70 per cent of the refugee population, that is more than 700,000 people, has lost its legal stay
  • In Jordan, some 250,000 Syrian refugees in host communities are still estimated to be without an updated government registration
  • 30 per cent of Syrian refugee children in Jordan do not have birth certificates
  • More than 1 million people - or 7 out of 10 refugees from Syria - now live in poverty across Jordan and Lebanon
  • In Jordan, 50 per cent of Syrian refugees surveyed by NRC at the end of 2015 said that they were intending to leave Jordan because they saw no future

NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland said: “An entire underclass is being created across the region. Insufficient international aid and the policies of host governments make it next to impossible for Syrian refugees to live in the Middle East. Refugees are losing all hope. The seeds of future unrest are being sowed. Without an enormous investment in the Middle East to support refugees and host communities, and a shift in the policies that prevent refugees from obtaining legal documents so they can support themselves and their families, refugees will have no choice but to risk the often life-threatening trip to Europe or elsewhere in ever greater numbers. They will do so in the hope of a safer, better life, and so would you and I if we were in the same situation.”

Read the full briefing note – Drivers of Despair – here.