International Community Struggles To Cope With Syrian Refugee Crisis
Global Response To Refugee Crisis In Syria Falling Short
This week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees announced the delivery of emergency winter food aid to northern Syria, but the good news belies the reality that foreign governments and agencies are struggling to cope with the flow of refugees. Even more difficult is the task of caring for approximately 2 million Syrians displaced within the country.
In 2012, it is estimated that it cost neighboring Jordan, which recently agreed a $2-billion standby loan from the International Monetary Fund, approximately $200 million to care for the refugees, according to Reuters.
The UNHCR estimates that 728,553 Syrians are now either registered as refugees or awaiting registration. This number comprises 237,623 in Lebanon; 227,484 in Jordan; 163,161 in Turkey; 79,769 in Iraq; 14,478 in Egypt and 6,338 in North Africa.
Many Nations Slow To Deliver On Aid Commitments
According to The Economist, many nations have been slow to deliver on aid pledges. In fact, only 3 percent of the $1.5 billion it has asked for to fund its work from now until June. A new round of pledges was made at a meeting in Kuwait on January 30th donors promised $1.5 billion.
Humanitarian Crisis Not Limited To Syria
The difficulty in managing the hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced in war-torn areas is not confined to Syria, according to The Lancet.
In South Sudan as many as 900,000 refugees have sought safety in refugee camps with the largest serving more than 57,000 people.
“Silvia de Weerdt is an emergency manager for Médecins Sans Frontières responsible for Maban County. She says that refugees are turning up with or acquiring a range of health problems, including malnutrition, skin diseases, upper and lower respiratory infections and, increasingly, hepatitis E—an untreatable and potentially fatal disease,” reports the journal.