Revised Syria Regional Response Plan (RRP, January - December 2013)
Since the launch of the last Regional Response Plan (RRP) in December 2012, an additional one million Syrians have become refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. This makes it the fastest growing refugee crisis this year. With little prospect of being able to safely return to their homes in the short term and growing hardship in host countries, Syrians face desperate circumstances. At the same time, the Governments of the region hosting Syrian refugees and the humanitarian community face an increasingly challenging and complex humanitarian crisis which, beyond refugees’ immediate protection and assistance needs, threatens the balance of the entire region.
Over 1.5 million Syrian refugees are now hosted across five countries, each with its own set of domestic priorities and concerns in which events in Syria and the influx of refugees are increasingly playing a central role. UNHCR also recognizes that the actual number of refugees in the region is much larger
since not all Syrian refugees come forward to register. The Governments of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt have largely continued to demonstrate their commitment to giving Syrian refugees access to their territory and to assure their safety, but the heavy burden on their own infrastructure and resources also continues to grow.
Based on arrival trends since the beginning of the year, it is estimated that the number of Syrian refugees in need of assistance across the region may reach 3.45 million by the end of 2013, hosted in camps and, for the most part, in local communities. This includes some 100,000 Palestine refugees,
whose increasing displacement from their camps in Syria, where they have enjoyed six decades of relative stability and security, adds to the growing political complexity of the regional refugee crisis. UNRWA is providing direct support to those who flee to Lebanon (expected to total 80,000 by the
end of 2013), Jordan (10,000) and Gaza (1,350) and is appealing for funds regionally and at country level in the Plan. Some Palestine refugees have also sought refuge in Egypt, Turkey and further afield in countries beyond the operational mandate of UNRWA, however the Agency is taking an active role in
advocacy and awareness-raising on their behalf.
For Lebanon and Jordan, the two countries hosting the highest number of refugees both in absolute terms and relative to their own population, this generosity has come at a heavy price, not least for the many communities welcoming refugees. Acknowledging the fact that the response in these countries needs to address the wider impact of the refugee influx (on infrastructure and local communities), the inter-agency response plans of Lebanon and Jordan are presented alongside plans developed by these Governments in close coordination with the humanitarian actors on the ground in order to ensure the compatibility and non-duplication of activities.