New UN plan to support Syria refugees as new-borns reach 1 million

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-11 23:08:41|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GENEVA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- UN agencies and NGO partners Tuesday released a 5.5 billion-U.S. dollar plan to back efforts in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq to deal with the ongoing Syria crisis as Syrian refugee "new-borns" reach the one million mark.

The 2019-2020 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan, known as 3RP looks to the UN and its NGO partners to implement a wide-ranging response targeting over nine million people across the five countries, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.

"These one million children have largely been born into a situation where poverty and unemployment are common, early marriage and child labor occur, and an education is not always secure," said Amin Awad, UNHCR director for the Middle East and North Africa Bureau and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq.

Speaking at a UN media briefing here, he said the support foreseen in 2019 includes helping to address on-going protection challenges for refugees, getting more children into some form of education, enhancing essential services and economic opportunities, especially for women.

It looks especially for women and leveraging the expertise of 3RP partners to strengthen the response capacity of national and local actors.

UNHCR said Syria's neighboring countries "have remained incredibly generous in hosting large refugee populations since the start of the crisis," offering asylum and protection, making their public services available to refugees.

These enable more and more refugees to participate in the local economy, despite the toll it has taken on their own development.

Nevertheless, dealing with such an extremely high number of refugees remains challenging, said the refugee agency.

Some 5.6 million Syrian refugees are currently registered across the region with around one million newly born in displacement.

Awad said, "It is critical that the international community continues to recognize the plight of Syrian refugees and provides vital support to host governments and 3RP partners to help shoulder this massive burden while waiting for voluntary return in safety and dignity.".

3RP partners seek to directly assist some 3.9 million host community members, mainly through livelihoods and economic opportunities, essential services and supporting the work of local institutions and municipalities.

"Communities in the region hosting refugees from Syria have shown tremendous generosity, yet are increasingly themselves under strain," said Mourad Wahba, assistant secretary-general and director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States.