New York/Geneva - The ongoing conflict in Syria is undermining development, not only inside Syria, where the human consequences of the conflict are devastating – but also across the region, said the UN Development Programme (UNDP) at the launch of a US$4.4 billion humanitarian appeal for the victims of the crisis presented today by the UN in Geneva.
“Conflict-affected communities in Syria and those hosting Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon are in desperate need,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.
UNDP has been working with communities in Syria and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon since the conflict began over two years ago. It announced today that it needs another US$60 million to continue its humanitarian relief, livelihood support and early recovery efforts in the three countries until the end of 2013.
“In many areas across Syria, where fighting has caused a breakdown of local services essential for survival, we need additional financial resources to work with local NGOs and communities to repair critical infrastructure, and support basic livelihood recovery initiatives, such as emergency employment – especially for the most vulnerable groups,” Helen Clark said.
Fighting in Syria has caused an estimated 80,000 deaths, left around seven million people in need of humanitarian assistance, displaced over four million inside the country and driven over 1.6 million refugees to flee across the border.
Nearly all productive sectors have been disrupted and basic services have collapsed in many places. More than half of public hospitals and one third of homes are damaged or destroyed; one in five schools can no longer be used. Necessities such as bread, clean water and essential medicines are in critically-short supply.
UNDP initiatives in Syria to replace productive assets, such as basic supplies for small businesses, as well as projects to restore services like water, health facilities, and rubbish and rubble removal, provide income to local people, including female-headed households, and help keep neighbourhoods functioning where possible.
These initiatives will not only provide temporary income for those who have been brought to the brink by the conflict but can also help to mitigate against further displacement by supporting local communities to stabilise and recover where possible.
In Jordan and Lebanon, UNDP’s efforts in the communities most affected by the influx of Syrian refuges focus on maintaining economic stability through supporting employment opportunities and working with local authorities to maintain the delivery of basic public services such as health and water.
And while these challenges are pressing in the immediate context, mid- and long-term consequences of the crisis cannot be ignored.
"We must act now to support Jordan and Lebanon to preserve development gains, while at the same time assessing and mitigating the mid- to long-term impact of the Syria crisis on development planning and practice," Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States, Ms Sima Bahous, added on the occasion of the launch.
Note to Editors - Syria Programme Financial Overview
UNDP Syria: ‘Humanitarian Livelihoods Programme’
- Programme Budget: US$ 42 million
- Funds Required: US$ 34 million
UNDP Lebanon: ‘Lebanon Host Communities Project’
- Programme Budget: US$8.9 million
- Funds Required: US$8.6 million
UNDP Jordan: ‘Mitigating the Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Jordanian Vulnerable Host Communities’
- Programme Budget: US$10.5 million
- Funds Required: US$5.5 million