Left Out in the Cold: Syrian refugees abandoned by the international community
5 December 2014
Lava and her family are among 1.1 million refugees who left Syria for Lebanon in the past three years. The Syrian refugee crisis is the world’s worst refugee crisis in a generation. But the plight of Syrians is part of a global displacement crisis – for the first time since World War II, the number of those forcibly displaced from their homes has surpassed 50 million; one in every five among them is Syrian. (…)
In total, more than 10 million Syrians, or 45% of the country’s population are believed to have been forced out of their homes due to the conflict. Of those, 6.5 million are displaced within Syria and approximately 4 million people have sought refuge in other countries. Of this 4 million, 3.8 million - or 95% - are now in just five host countries: Turkey, Lebanon,
Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has said that the “Syrian situation is the most dramatic humanitarian crisis the world has faced in a very long time.”
Despite the historic magnitude of the Syrian refugee crisis and the significant impact it has had on neighbouring countries, support from the international community has fallen far short of what is needed. One of the most urgent issues is resettlement of refugees from the five main host countries, but internationally the number of resettlement places on offer is shamefully low.
The six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - have pledged 0 resettlement places. Excluding Germany, the remaining 27 countries in the European Union (EU) have pledged a total of 6,305 places – which amounts to just 0.17% of the number of refugees currently living in the main host countries. Russia and China have not offered to resettle any Syrian refugees.
In total, 63,170 resettlement places have been offered globally, equal to a mere 1.7% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey.
Amnesty International is calling for a global resettlement surge to relocate 380,000 Syrian refugees from the main host countries, by the end of 2016. This amounts to approximately 10% of the total refugee population in those countries. At least half should be resettled by the end of 2015. Such a bold step would make a significant contribution to the well-being of the children, men, and women who will be able to resume their lives in dignity elsewhere.
Read the full report here.