26 Mar 2015

The UAE’s aid aimed at alleviating the suffering of those affected by the Syrian Crisis has amounted to more than Dh 1.34 billion, or US$364 million, since 2012, according to the latest figures collated via the UAE Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD). Humanitarian aid to the Syrian population remains essential as the Syrian Crisis enters its fourth year, and the number of refugees in neighbouring countries approaches 4 million. Being among the first countries to respond to the Syrian Crisis, the UAE has supported and provided humanitarian aid to those displaced within Syria, along with refugees located in the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey since the on-set of the conflict. In 2014 alone, more than AED 220 million (US$ 60 million) has been allocated for and distributed via the Regional Response Plan (RRP) and the Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), which provide food, health, water and sanitation, and education services to refugees in neighbouring countries, as well as those displaced internally within Syria. In addition, the UAE funds various other initiatives such as the Emirates Jordanian Camp, which currently supports more than 4,000 refugees with the capacity to accommodate over 10,000 in total. The camp includes a playground, TV halls for children and another one for women for recreational purposes. The UAE further provides various other forms of humanitarian aid to the Syrian population, amounting to Dh 43.7 million (US$ 11.9 million), to address basic needs in addition to medical and specialised clinical services, and education and training services. The UAE Red Crescent has also set up a camp for the displaced Syrians in northern Iraq, which accommodates a total of 4,000 refugees. Additionally, the UAE has established an Emirati-Jordanian Field Hospital in the Jordanian town of Mafraq, which receives more than 800 cases per day while referring complex cases to the official hospitals in Jordan. Earlier this year, the UAE had launched the ‘Tarahamu’ humanitarian campaign to provide relief for refugees affected by Storm Huda, the harsh snowstorm that hit the Levant region late last year. Launched by the UAE Red Crescent, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, Tarahamu provided humanitarian aid in the form of food supplies, winter clothes, blankets and other aid amounting to a total of Dh257 million (US$ 70 million) to hundreds of thousands of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. “The UAE is committed to supporting the victims of the Syrian crisis through humanitarian and development programs that aim to improve their lives. On the fourth anniversary of the Syrian Crisis, and with no viable solution to the conflict in sight, it is imperative that we continue supporting those that have been displaced in every possible way,” said Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of International Cooperation and Development. “We have been in constant coordination with our partners, both locally and internationally, who are working tirelessly to alleviate the conditions of Syrian refugees, and making a positive difference in their lives. Every effort counts, and the UAE is proud to step up and play its role in helping others.” Cited by the United Nations as the “biggest humanitarian emergency of our era,” the Syrian crisis began in 2011 and has resulted in the displacement of an estimated 9 million people, of which roughly 3.9 million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 50% of Syria’s internally displaced people are children, and over 5 million Syrian children are in need of humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, 50 percent of Syria’s population is affected by hunger, and more than half are living in extreme poverty. The UAE has implemented numerous humanitarian programmes since the start of the Crisis, working with its partners to ensure humanitarian aid is effectively reaching those in need. In 2014, Dh 14.6 million (US$4 million) was contributed to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to provide healthcare aimed at reaching 80,000 Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians, and to facilitate the empowerment of 6,000 Syrian refugees and Iraqi displaced children and youth in the Kurdish Region of Iraq for education and livelihood opportunities. Furthermore, Dh 47.7 million (US$ 13 million) was allocated for the nutrition of young children, and pregnant and lactating women in Syria through WFP and UNICEF, and a total of Dh 91.8 million (US$25 million) has been designated for additional food-related support via WFP. Through WFP, the contribution is aimed at benefitting around 880,000 individuals including children. Meanwhile, Dh 55 million (US$15 million) is being distributed to support over 360,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and Dh 18.3 million (US$5 million) has recently been fully distributed through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for healthcare services and food supplies, which benefited 98,710 Syrian refugees in Al Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps. Most recently, the UAE also allocated Dh 3.6 million (US$1 million) to improve the health conditions and livelihoods of people affected by the crisis in Syria via the World Health Organisation (WHO) –, providing 700 patients with needed artificial limbs, and repairing the artificial limbs of 300 patients –,and finally Dh 3.6 million) US$ 1 million) has been dedicated to strengthen humanitarian coordination and advocacy in Syria via the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs