By Ajibola Abayomi,
Civilians in Syria face extraordinary levels of displacement and humanitarian need after nearly a decade of conflict. On the final day of the fifth Brussels conference for Syria (30/03), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) joins UN partners to call for greater solidarity and support to the life-saving humanitarian response.
IOM is appealing for USD 198 million to continue its response to the mounting needs of 2.3 million Syrians displaced inside and outside the country.
“I call upon our trusted partners, the international donor community and the public to continue to support IOM’s humanitarian operations in Syria and to not turn their backs on the Syrian people,” IOM’s Director General António Vitorino told the conference.
“More needs to be done to support the resilience of communities. While greater humanitarian funding is urgently needed, this situation will never be solved with aid alone. I join my fellow UN principals in calling for a sustainable resolution to end the conflict, so that the Syrian people may rebuild their lives in peace.”
Last year, IOM, in partnership with local NGOs, was able to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to over 1 million people inside Syria and another 900,000 people in neighbouring countries.
According to UN data, 30 per cent of the Syrian population is internally displaced. Nearly one-quarter have been forced to flee at least four times. In addition, 21 per cent more people inside Syria than last year – 13.4 million people in total – now need humanitarian assistance to survive.
Countries hosting millions of refugees have been gravely impacted by COVID-19 and struggle to sufficiently support the basic needs of the displaced and host communities. As a result, social tension, xenophobia and violence toward refugees and migrants have been on the rise.
Funds from the 2021 appeal will allow IOM to support partners to provide internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northwest with water, sanitation and hygiene services, food, emergency items, shelter, protection services, livelihood opportunities and health services to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to the need for urgent funding, IOM again reiterates its call for continued access to the northwest, where more than 3.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
UN cross-border assistance from Turkey into Northwest Syria in 2020 reached record levels with over 12,000 trucks delivering aid into Syria, including over 10,000 through Bab al-Hawa crossing point.
“IOM and our partners have seen the situation in the north markedly deteriorate since cross-border access was last reviewed nine months ago. We are increasingly concerned that if access is further restricted in July, the suffering of millions will reach tragic levels,” said DG Vitorino.
Additionally, in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, IOM will continue to support Syrian refugees and host communities to access education; engage in income generation activities; start new businesses; receive rental assistance or other cash-based assistance; reconstruct their homes and access health care.
Today, IOM also invites the public to help Syrians build a positive future by supporting lifesaving operations which provide relief to millions of people who have shown remarkable resilience over the last decade.
You can help us do more. Donate today to Support Syria.
IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2020 and beyond.