UNHCR-led group of 52 UN agencies revises funding needs: new appeal for $487.9 million
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The numbers continue to shock: 107 residents of Al Thiabieh died in four days of fighting in the suburb of Damascus, reports CNN. More than 300 and perhaps 400 people died a month ago in Darayya, near Damascas, Syria, in what may be the highest one-day death toll in the war there, the BBC reported in August. Frustration has been voiced by several top ministers taking part in the UN General Assembly in New Yori, including US Secretary of State Hllary Clinton.
Meanwhile, the number of refugees is growing at a rate unimagined just six months ago. An appeal for funds led by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in March projected an estimated 100,000 Syrians becoming refugees by the end of 2012, says the organization in Geneva. That number that was surpassed in July.
Every day, 2,000 to 3,000 refugees cross into neighbouring countries. “Many refugees are arriving with only the clothes on their backs,” says Panos Moumtzis, UNHCR’s regional coordinator for Syrian refugees. “Some have been displaced many times before leaving Syria. They need humanitarian assistance from day one.”
A new appeal launched 27 September, with 52 humanitarian organizations taking part, “estimates that there may be up to 700,000 Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries by the end of the year”. The appeal is asking donors to provide $487.9 million in aid to help the rapidly increasing numbers of Syrian refugees in Jordan,
Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
There are currently 294,000 Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration in neighbouring countries, compared to 41,500 Syrians in March. “This seven-fold increase has brought about a surge in the humanitarian response and a vastly expanded plan of action to respond to the needs of Syrian refugees as well as future arrivals,” says UNHCR in a statement.