Funding to the Syrian Crisis

Uploaded: 07/09/2012 Author: GHA Team

Delivery Scale of Needs
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Syrian refugees arrive near the border between Syria and Turkey, March 2012 © BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations (UN) now estimates that 2.5 million Syrians are in need of assistance and the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.

Existing appeals

There are currently two major coordinated funding appeals underway. One of these is the UN-led Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan, which targets 2.5 million people inside of Syria with support provided by the UN and implementing partners. UN OCHA believes that there are currently 1.2 million internally displaced people inside of Syria. On 7 September, the appeal target was revised from US $180 million to US $347 million. This significant increase is based on the fact that the number of people in need has more than doubled since the original appeal was set up in July. Despite the high profile of the crisis, the previous target was only 53% funded against its stated funding requirements. The funding status of the appeal can be tracked in real-time here.

A second appeal, the Regional Refugee Response Plan led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), targets displaced people in neighbouring countries and has stated funding requirements of US$193 million, of which 54% of funds have been received.

The number of refugees continues to rise and already exceeds the June planning figures upon which the current revised funding appeal is based. UNHCR is now revising its planning assumptions and financing needs and expects to launch a further revised appeal shortly. The funding status of the appeal can be tracked in periodically updated reports here.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) also launched an emergency appeal in July 2012 to support the work of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in Syria. The appeal asks for EUR22.9 million to cover the costs of healthcare, emergency relief and support to livelihoods for 200,000 people. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent has 10,000 volunteers already trained and working on the ground. On 7 September 2012, 21% of requested funds for this appeal had been committed. The latest operational and funding reports on this appeal can be found in the latest appeals box here.

Individual NGOs are also launching appeals to support their responses to the Syrian crisis including Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, Islamic Relief, Malteser International, Muslim Hands and Human Relief Foundation. All of these are currently using the funds to assist Syrian refugees mainly in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. The national movements of the Red Cross and Red Crescent are running appeals to support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s work in the country.

Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries

According to the UNHCR there are currently 226,975 Syrian refugees in the region: this includes over 72,000 in Jordan; over 57,000 in Lebanon; over 18,000 in Iraq and over 78,000 in Turkey. UNHCR’s refugee tracking figures can also be monitored here.

Figure 1: The number of registered Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, as of 30 August 2012

The number of registered Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, as of 30 August 2012

Source: UNHCR

Existing funding for the crisis

As of 4 September 2012, a total of US$391 million in humanitarian funding had been committed to the crisis and captured within UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS). OECD DAC donors provided 76% of this in bilateral support to implementing organisations: 9% has been provided by government donors outside of the OECD DAC group; 9% from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF); and just 1% from private donors (note however that private contributions made directly to the ICRC, IFRC and MSF in particular are not reflected here and may be considerable).

Figure 2: Total funding to the crisis by donor source

Total funding to the crisis by donor source

Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA FTS

Table 1: Top donors to the Syria crisis

Top donors to the Syria crisis

Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA FTS

Where are funds being spent?

Of the funds already allocated and being tracked in the OCHA FTS, 48% are being spent in Syria itself. Almost US$200 million of allocated funding is being spent outside of Syria. The UN is currently unable to operate in Syria because the Syrian authorities have not asked for international assistance. According to international humanitarian law, the governing authorities have responsibility for citizens within the sovereign state and external agencies must be invited in or given permission to access citizens. Other aid agencies are therefore waiting for humanitarian access to be granted before they can begin operations within the country itself.

Figure 3: Funds reported for the Syria crisis by recipient country 

Funds reported for the Syria crisis by recipient country

Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA FTS

The leading organisations working inside Syria do not have access to the appeal funds as they do not participate in the appeal process. The UN appeal, therefore, will become more significant once access is granted and other NGOs can begin to develop programmes inside Syria.

Currently very few humanitarian organisations are operating within Syria, most notably the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Many agencies are operating in the neighbouring countries by assisting refugees fleeing the crisis and/or prepositioning teams and resources for when access is granted.

Figure 4: Amount of funding allocated to the different humanitarian organisations

Amount of funding allocated to the different humanitarian organisations

Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA FTS

OCHA’s Emergency Response Fund

UN OCHA is managing an Emergency Response Fund for Syria. The total funding as of 4 September 2012 stands at US$6,930,778 which includes US$1,887,880 of unallocated funds. This fund is supporting agencies working in Jordan with Syrian refugees and the following agencies are receiving funds to work in Syria: Danish Refugee Council, Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Jesuit Refugee Service, Premiere Urgence, Syrian Arab Red Crescent and World Food Programme. Together these agencies are assisting roughly 800,000 people inside Syria.[1]

Syria’s official development assistance (ODA) history

Syria, which is a lower-middle income country, has historically received relatively small volumes of official development assistance (ODA).

Figure 5: ODA to Syria and neighbouring countries from 1990 to 2010

ODA to Syria and neighbouring countries from 1990 to 2010

Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA FTS

To speak to one of the authors please contact Laura Jump or Lydia Poole.

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  1. jahir dakua says:

    TO The
    President – General Secretary

    Subject: Funding for Islamic education center, orphan center, free shelter and food for the Muslim immigrant refugee children and woman in Athens, Greece

    Dear sir/madam

    I believe that this letter meets you in good health; Ngo Hara is an official non-profit organization established in response to the influx of asylum seekers from war torn African and Asian countries. The organization participates in various community development issues concerning the well being of refugees/immigrants living in Greece.

    Hara has been in the educational sector here in Greece for two and a half years now. Hara is a unique non-governmental organization with an interest to facilitate equal education for all, both marginalized and the unprivileged ones and providing asylum seekers with a safe haven in which they can finally feel welcome and at home and develop a sense of community and belonging. We work with efficient, cost-effective means of delivering equal education and a moral upright society for all Refugees and immigrants in Greece.

    Greece is a new immigrant receiving country that has a large number of refugees/immigrants especially from Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, India, Ethiopia, Somalia, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Syria, Algeria, etc. The refugees who have arrived in Greece are dealing with a difficult reality. Greece does not have a clear policy regarding these people’s status and rights like other EU countries. This situation has led to great economical and emotional distress, negatively influencing the refugees’ and asylum seekers’ ability to recover from their emotional and physical traumas.

    Greece is the only country in the world which is Christian Orthodox as state religion and Muslim immigrants and their children face problems regarding their religious and devotional needs. Greece’s capital is the only EU city without any formal mosque or official place of worship for the Muslims. In this context, Muslim immigrants and their children have to pray in the make shift mosques. Muslim immigrants and their children face problems on lack of Islamic education. Our community based projects include:

    We stand as a non-governmental organization to technically create a helping hand for the refugees/immigrants. Hara has viewed you as a major assistant and support to its arsenal for tools to accomplishing these tasks. We kindly ask for your assistant in any way possible, in order to accomplish our goals and objectives.

    We are indeed looking forwards to your reply and we will be very glad to provide all necessary documents required concerning the organization, its aims and objectives. We appreciate any assistant and fund provided.

    For more information about Hara Organization kindly contact us.
    Also in case if you are unable to support us building Shelter House, at least kindly donate us in our website for the immigrant & refugees in Athens Greece.

    Kind Regards

    Jahir Dakua


    Geraniou 26, Omonoia-10552 Athens, Greece
    Mobile: 0030 694568633, Phone/ Fax: 0030 2112217912

    14/01/2014 6:29 pm

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Laura Jump

About the author:
Laura Jump

Laura joined Development Initiatives (DI) in July 2012 as a Senior Engagement and Advocacy Advisor. She works to expand the reach of DI’s work and influence the agenda. Her areas of focus are the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) programme and the Investments to End Poverty (ITEP) project.