On December 8, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called for an increase in worldwide support surrounding the refugee crisis during a meeting at Paris. President Emmanuel Macron affirmed that France will work to supply more economic and humanitarian aid, but he has not provided further details.
Four days later, UNHCR spokesperson Amin Awad urged nations to consider funding various NGOs at a briefing in the Palais des Nations in Geneva for the coming year. A total of 270 partners, including the WFP, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, UNRWA, and ILO, plan to help the 5.3 million Syrians living outside of the country’s border. Moreover, Awad notes that an additional 10 million Syrians - who have not left their homes - are cut off from basic educational services, medical facilities, and relatives. Currently, the chief concern is food shortages, which may be attributed to the fact that only 53% of the promised $4.8 billion was donated in 2017. Other priorities include supplying refugee camps with thermal blankets and winter tents.
The “Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan” - as this project became known - has proven to be difficult to implement. Key neighboring states are beginning to close their borders on incoming refugee populations, including Turkey and Iraq. In fact, in Lebanon, the total Syrian population has dropped to around 997,905. Earlier this month, German lawmakers discussed forcibly removing Syrian populations once their asylum status expires, possibly starting in June. As the influence of Assad and ISIS subside, many European countries must confront the fate of their refugees. However, the 951 U.N. Refugee Convention underlines that “an individual may not be returned if his life or freedom may be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or opinion,” and only a few select areas in Eastern Syria are aligned with those conditions. During this holiday season, please keep the circumstances of refugees all around the world in mind
Agencies. “Lebanon calls for more support in dealing with Syrian refugee crisis.” The National, The National, 8 Dec. 2017, www.thenational.ae/world/mena/lebanon-calls-for-more-support-in-dealing-with-syrian-refugee-crisis-1.682752.
“Syrian refugees in Lebanon drop below one million - UN.” Jordan Times, 27 Dec. 2017, www.jordantimes.com/news/region/syrian-refugees-lebanon-drop-below-one-million-%E2%80%94-un.
Traub, James. “Germany Is Preparing to Send Refugees Back to Syria.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 6 Dec. 2017, foreignpolicy.com/2017/12/06/germany-is-preparing-to-send-refugees-back-to-syria/.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “UN and partners launch plan to support five million Syrian refugees and countries hosting them.” UNHCR, 12 Dec. 2017, www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2017/12/5a2ffd534/un-partners-launch-plan-support-five-million-syrian-refugees-countries.html.