Photo: UNDP Jordan/Lianne Manna
The Syria crisis is the world’s largest protection and displacement crisis, which for nearly ten years has driven millions of people to require humanitarian assistance and protection inside the country. The conflict also continues to drive the largest refugee crisis in the world. There are 5.5 million Syrian refugees registered, with over 2.6 million being children, in a region faced with deepening economic, social and development challenges. Inside Syria, 90 percent of the population is now living under the poverty line. In Lebanon, it is estimated that nearly 45 per cent of the Lebanese now live below the poverty line and lay-offs and salary cuts are challenging people’s coping mechanisms. In Jordan, two-thirds of families in a recent survey said they had less than one week of financial resources to draw on at the peak of the lockdown. Unemployment is set to rise in Turkey, and the slowdown in Iraq is compounded by recent drops in the international oil price. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these problems across the region. Delegates to the fourth Brussels conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” pledged USD5.5 billion for 2020 to the UN’s programmes that are saving lives, protecting vulnerable families, building resilience across Syria and the region. Pledges at the conference were focused on funding the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan. Coordinated by UN humanitarian and development agencies, the plans aim to reach 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, 5.5 million refugees in neighboring countries, and 4.5 million vulnerable members of communities hosting refugees. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.