Helen Clark: Statement at High-Level Segment on Supporting the Region and the Refugees – Implementation of London Commitments and the Way Ahead

Apr 5, 2017

Jobs are central to building resilience and creating sustainable responses for the many millions of people directly impacted by this crisis. Photo: UNDP.

The magnitude of the Syria crisis is well known to all present. More than six years from its onset, the numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees amount to about half of Syria’s population, and neighbouring countries continue to be under very considerable pressure.

It is now well recognized that investments in humanitarian relief and in resilience must go hand in hand – both within Syria and in the neighborhood.

The Early Recovery and Livelihoods Section of the Syrian Arab Republic Humanitarian Response Plan 2017 (HRP) has a budget of US$173 million. It is an important investment in those most in need inside Syria, and can contribute to reducing the ranks of those leaving Syria for economic reasons.

This year’s Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) was launched in Helsinki in January. Its resilience component amounts to 41 per cent of the whole appeal. Yet this component of the 3RP appeals continues to be badly underfunded – last year at only 38 per cent.

The 3RP is built on the pillars of national leadership of the response in the countries of the sub-region. The burden on the economies, budgets, and communities of host countries continues to be very significant.

It is encouraging to see the multi-year planning across the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, the Jordan Response Plan, and the 3RP Turkey Chapter, together with a significant increase in multi-year pledging by donors. These nationally led processes, including the 3RP chapters developed in Egypt and Iraq, help drive strategic and coherent programming and action.

A major feature of last year’s London conference was setting a target for creating 1.1 million jobs for refugees and host communities and countries. A critical part of achieving that is enabling refugees to work legally, as Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey now all permit in certain sectors. Syrians also are permitted to work in Egypt and Iraq after meeting certain requirements.

UNDP, supported by WFP and ILO, has produced a report on how the 1.1 million jobs target could be reached, which is titled “Jobs make The Difference”. Jobs are central to building resilience and creating sustainable responses for the many millions of people directly impacted by this crisis.

The UN’s development agencies look forward to continuing to work with all partners on implementing durable solutions in support of the internally displaced, refugees, and host communities and countries, and are hopeful of strong contributions to the resilience components of the appeals.

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