UNHCR calls on internal donors to fulfil pledge to help refugees
This is a file photo of Syrian refugees crossing the border. (Twitter)
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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called on the international community to fulfill its commitment to tackle the refugee crisis in the Middle East.
UNHCR director for the Middle East and North Africa Amin Awad on Wednesday criticized a “collective failure” by the international donors to deliver on pledges made to help the countries which bear the heaviest burden of the Syrian refugee crisis.
During the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London in February, the richest world powers pledged more than $11 billion to help frontline states in the Middle East cope with the Syrian refugee crisis.
Millions have been displaced as a result of more than five years of conflict in Syria. Many have already been settled across the border in countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The three neighbors continue introducing strict restrictions at border checkpoints.
“So I think there's a collective failure that will have to addressed,” Awad said.
He said that four months after the conference in London, less than one fourth of the amount-- $2.5 billion-- has been disbursed.
According to the UN, there are almost 60 million refugees across the globe and more than a third of the displaced people are from the broader Middle East region alone.
“If you look at the Middle East population compared the world’s seven billion people, it is about five to seven percent,” he said.
“And yet they’ve produced 35 to 40% these cases,” he added.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the conflict, which has also displaced over half of the Arab country’s pre-war population of about 23 million.
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