Brussels Pledging Conference: Support long-term solutions for displaced Syrians

Published 13. Jun 2023
International donors pledging their humanitarian commitment to Syria must start funding long-term programmes to help Syrians rebuild their lives and recover from over a decade of suffering.

“After 12 years of limbo, international donors can’t keep promoting short-term fixes that maintain uncertainty and offer little hope for the future of Syrians inside the country and in the region. Syrians want a decent job, an education and a safe future for their children,” said Carsten Hansen, Middle East Regional Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

In Syria, people across the country continue to endure the ramifications of the devastating earthquake in February, which has deepened the daily miseries of unaffordable prices and lack of sufficient job opportunities. Similarly, Syrian refugees continue to grapple with a raft of vulnerabilities. In Lebanon, protection risks have increased as local and refugee populations struggle to cope with the highest food inflation rate in the world, according to the UN.

Layla from Aleppo, northern Syria, told NRC’s team, “There are things that we cannot afford anymore, such as olive oil. We rely on food aid, but the quantity of food items shrinks every time. The prices have dramatically increased after the earthquake. I used to buy one kg of tomatoes for 2,000 Syrian pounds. Today, it costs me 4,000 pounds.”

Muna, 58, was displaced following the earthquake that hit the northern region. She said, “I have been living in a tent with my family. I used to work as a seamstress and used the income to provide for my family. I lost my sewing machine and can’t work anymore, nor can I go back home as it needs to be repaired.”

In neighbouring host countries, Syrian refugees fear forced deportations and deteriorating living conditions. Concrete plans to send refugees back without a due process or sufficient information are already underway.  

“Governments gathering for the seventh time in Brussels this week must also pledge to protect refugees in neighbouring countries and ensure a safe environment where they do not have to live in constant fear of forced return to Syria. Any refugee returns should be safe, voluntary and monitored,” added Hansen.

NRC calls on the international donor community and governments to revive efforts for long-term recovery in Syria and for durable solutions for displaced people in Syria and neighbouring countries. These should include strong protection monitoring, and a comprehensive plan for integration as well as increased resettlement to other countries.

Notes to editors:

  • The VII Brussels Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region takes place on 15 June.
  • Last year, the Brussels Conference raised $6.7 billion in aid for Syria and host countries.

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