Interagency report warns over huge funding gap for Syrian refugees in Turkey
A file picture taken on August 31, 2013 shows Syrian refugees arrive in Turkey at the Cilvegozu crossing gate of Reyhanli, in Hatay. AFP PhotoDespite hosting the second largest Syrian refugee population, Turkey has received the lowest level of funding compared to other countries hosting Syrian refugees, U.N. agencies have said.
The report demonstrates the necessity for robust support from the international community as a sign of solidarity and responsibility sharing with Turkey.
Underfunding for Turkey would not only have dramatic consequences for the Syrian refuges, but would also eventually pose a heightened threat to regional peace and security, said a joint press release yesterday by the inter-agency “Syria Regional Response Plan for Syrian Refugees, RRP, Turkey.”
RRP, Turkey is a collaborative effort between Turkey, seven U.N. agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as refugees and host communities, under the overall leadership of Turkey and the UNHCR, in close coordination with the donor community, partners and NGOs.
Having released the 6th revision of the RRP covering 2014, which has been reviewed by more than 155 partners, the group noted that the partners have been compelled to reduce requirements by more than $500 million, bringing the budget requirements to $3.74 billion for the region. In the RRP6, Turkey’s requirement was set as $522,379,683 in the beginning of the year, and after the mid-year revision, the required amount was revised to $497,290,571.
“It is important to note that Turkey is hosting the second largest Syrian refugee population, but has only received 17 percent funding, which is the lowest funding level compared to other countries hosting Syrian refugees [funding levels of other countries hosting Syrian refugees in the region are: Jordan 40 percent, Lebanon 33 percent, Iraq 24 percent, Egypt 23 percent],” the U.N. agencies said, while also drawing attention to the fact that RP partners estimate there will be 3.59 million refugees by December 2014, of whom 1 million are foreseen to be registered in Turkey.
“Failing to provide the required level of humanitarian support to Syrian refugees through the RRP would not only have dramatic consequences for each Syrian refugee, girl, woman, boy and man, but would also ultimately represent a heightened threat to peace and security in the region,” they warned.
Turkey estimates the total number of Syrians in the country to be over 1 million. As of July 2, 2014, Turkey is hosting over 795,500 registered refugees, both in and out of camps from Syria. This represents 28 percent of all Syrian refugees in the region.
Consequences of underfunding for every $1 mln not mobilized
The U.N. agencies listed remarkable consequences of underfunding for Turkey, for every $1 million not mobilized as below:
“26,300 children will not have sustained access to schooling, which will increase the risk of child labor, early marriage, heighten the potential for involvement in criminal activities, recruitment into armed groups and exposure to sexual and gender-based violence.
“Communicable disease surveillance and response, including immunization, to mitigate morbidity and mortality cannot be strengthened, affecting an average of 192,000 Syrians, as well as members of host communities.
“Over 26,000 Syrians in camps or out-of-camp areas will have inadequate washing facilities or access to sanitary materials, which may lead to outbreaks of communicable diseases in camps or communities where refugees are hosted.”