International Rescue Committee (IRC)

United Nations launches largest-ever aid appeal, for Syria

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The International Rescue Committee supports the United Nations' call to help both Syrians and refugee host communities.

GENEVA  At $5.2 billion, the total figure is staggering. It’s more than three times the size of the appeal for Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and more than four times the size of the 2004 South Asian tsunami appeal. Of the $5 billion? $2.98 billion is earmarked for Syrian refugees, while $1.4 billion is to pay for in-country aid work.

It would help as many as 3.5 million Syrians survive a war now in its third year that shows no sign of ending. In fact, numbers of those in extreme need have swelled since January of this year. An estimated 7 million Syrians now need aid inside Syria, while close to two million refugees have poured into Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

Speaking in Geneva today, Valerie Amos, the United Nations top humanitarian officer remarked, “The human misery behind those figures is horrific and tragic. It's estimated that two years of conflict have set back Syria's development by two decades."

The International Rescue Committee and dozens of other global aid agencies are working to improve the lives of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. Our projects are providing thousands of refugees with the tools for survival in host countries. We provide clean water and improved sanitation, medical care, economic support for urban refugees, and programs for women, children and other vulnerable groups. Inside Syria, working with Syrian partners, we’ve reached more than 600,000 people with housing material, flashlights, medicine and medical equipment, education and clean water.

This year, the IRC is already budgeting close to $50-million to help Syrians and vulnerable host communities. Regional Director Mike Young warns that it’s nowhere near enough. “Needs continue to outstrip available resources, not just for the IRC, but for the entire humanitarian community. We urge donors large and small to heed this global appeal. It is a huge sum, but it will make a massive difference both for Syrians in need, and to the wider region, which is reeling under the weight of the refugee influx.”

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