As prepared for delivery.
As we discussed in this morning’s parallel session on the region, the Syria crisis continues to have a devastating effect on civilians inside the country, beyond its borders and across generations.
We are here to reinforce the type of global solidarity that is required to address many of the key international challenges that we face, and in this case, to foster an active burden sharing between the international community and the countries most affected by the Syria crisis.
In early February, I visited Lebanon, where I saw how the poorest communities have generously hosted the most vulnerable Syrian refugees and how national systems help people manage day-to-day issues – from earning an income to sending children to school to accessing health services. Neighboring countries affected by the refugee crisis face similar challenges. Jordan now hosts 600,000 registered refugees, although generosity extends beyond this; Turkey, more than 3.57 million refugees. Egypt and Iraq also host significant numbers of refugees.
The continuing effects of the crisis against a backdrop of strained resources and institutions make the resilience section of this year’s 3RP particularly crucial. Since 2015, the 3RP has been a pioneer for what is today’s New Way of Working. Allow me to highlight a few key results from last year:
In Lebanon, partners in the Livelihoods and Social Cohesion sector provided job training to nearly 36,000 Lebanese and Syrian refugees.
In Turkey, with support from UNICEF, some 140,000 teachers and education personnel – both Syrian and Turkish – were trained to develop a variety of relevant skills, from classroom management and psychosocial support to teaching in camps and to children who have witnessed war.
In Jordan and Turkey, UNDP has supported Municipalities to undertake significant improvements to waste management facilities
The 2018 3RP covers five countries with a total appeal of USD$5.6 billion, comprising USD 4.4 billion for UN and NGO partners and up to USD 1.2 billion in multi-year funding already committed to address immediate needs and resilience building. 41 percent of the inter-agency ask is dedicated to resilience. UNDP’s ask is USD 466 million to support resilience and livelihoods across the five 3RP countries.
However, as the Brussels Conference also recognizes this year, while support to the current humanitarian and resilience priorities in the 3RP remains a priority, we must also do more to support structural reform and development as the most sustainable approach to managing the effects of the protracted crisis.
Earlier this month in Paris, I had the honour to represent the UN Secretary General at the International conference in support of Lebanon’s development and reforms (CEDRE) in support of the Lebanese Prime Minister’s new Vision for Stabilisation, Growth and Employment embedded within a reform agenda. The UN strongly supports this effort to help Lebanon manage the influx of refugees and chart a sustainable development path. We must also recognise the efforts underway in Jordan to manage the current humanitarian challenges while shifting gears towards longer-term development within a difficult economic environment.
It is positive that this year’s Brussels Conference emphasizes increasing international support for longer-term development and reform efforts, while complementing humanitarian priorities. This is a real gain for the countries most affected by the crisis in line with the Grand Bargain discussed at the 2016 Humanitarian Summit. A recent meeting hosted by UNDP in Amman provided an opportunity for key stakeholders, such humanitarian and development actors, governments and NGOs, to reaffirm the importance of the commitment to resilience and longer-term development.
Despite this, our overall funding for the regional appeal has gone down from 71 percent in 2013 to 53 percent last year. Just as concerning is the under-funding of the resilience components of the 3RP, which last year came to only 33 percent.
The 3RP is approximately 27 per cent funded as of the end of Q1 against the total requirements of USD 5.6 billion.
I ask you all to redouble your financial efforts to support more resilience at this crucial moment for the region and its vulnerable people, while laying the basis for stronger support for longer-term development.