Analysis of the context, crisis and needs
The Syrian crisis remains the world’s largest refugee situation, with some refugees approaching nearly a decade in displacement. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt continue to collectively host over 5.5 million refugees. Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees in the world, while Lebanon and Jordan have among the world’s highest concentration of refugees per capita. Despite the efforts of host Governments, strongly supported by the international community for many years, the multilayered crises across the region continue to have a profound impact on host countries, vulnerable host communities and refugees. This has exacerbated socioeconomic conditions, further exposing underlying vulnerabilities and increasing protection risks.
The impact of COVID-19 has made a difficult situation even more challenging for Syrian refugees. While poverty rates were already high, refugees have lost their livelihoods. They are taking on debt and are increasingly unable to meet their basic needs including food, education, health and rent due to the impact of COVID-19. Over 60 per cent of refugee households reported the loss of jobs and entire incomes due to the pandemic in some 3RP countries. Food consumption has been reduced. Some 35 per cent of children are out of school, while over 20 per cent of children cannot continue education through distance learning. Protection risks are also prevalent with the risk of trafficking; limited freedom of movement; lack of documentation; housing, land and property issues; SGBV; and child protection challenges set to persist and, in some cases, increase in 2021.
Projected situation in 2021 and beyond
The hardship facing vulnerable host communities has long been severe and is now worsening. COVID-19 has accelerated poverty and unemployment. Food prices have increased by nearly 100 per cent in some countries over the last year. Many host-community members, including female-headed households, work in the informal sector and are often missed by national safety nets. Youth employment is approaching 50 per cent in some countries. Host countries also confront unparalleled macroeconomic challenges. After nearly a decade of hosting some of the world’s most vulnerable people, these Governments are now hard hit by worsening economic conditions and mounting financial pressures. This places new and severe strains on national and local institutions’ abilities to sustain services for all, risking social cohesion and threatening to roll back hard-won development gains. These trends will likely continue into 2021 and beyond.
Response priorities in 2021
In 2021, over 150 3RP partners, in line with the GCR and the implementation of the SDGs, will continue to support host Governments in their efforts to promote resilience for all, to ensure no one is left behind, and to ensure the needs of Syrian refugees, host communities and other vulnerable populations can be met.
The 3RP response in 2021 will comprise programmes and activities that, taken together, will seek to make progress in the following four areas in close coordination with national stakeholders, and with actors such as International Financial Institutions:
Protecting people: Protection of people is at the centre of the 3RP response to ensure that no one is left behind. This approach informs all aspects of advocacy and programming. Key programmes and activities in this area include support for access to protection, non-refoulment, registration, strengthening the protection space, prevention from and response to violence and exploitation, case processing, facilitation of referrals, legal assistance and information dissemination.
Promoting durable solutions: Refugees continue to require access to territory, international protection, and support in countries of asylum. Given the protracted situation, opportunities for durable solutions are urgently needed to enable refugees to look to the future with hope and dignity. Key programmes and activities in this area include resettlement and complementary pathways, support for people who take a voluntary and informed decision to return to Syria, as well as the promotion of local opportunities.
Contributing to dignified lives: The crisis continues to impact the socioeconomic well-being of vulnerable populations due to a range of factors, addressing the multiple deprivations facing refugees and vulnerable host populations. Supporting enabling conditions and opportunities for all to lead a dignified life is a priority for all 3RP partners across a range of sectors. Key programmes and activities in this area relate to multipurpose cash-based assistance, livelihoods opportunities, support to education, health and WASH services, systems for refugees and vulnerable host communities, and shelter support for camp-based refugees.
Enhancing local and national capacities: Broadening the capacity of institutions and systems helps to provide protection and essential social services, foster social cohesion, and increase opportunities for impacted communities to realize dignified lives. Key programmes and activities in this area include capacity-building and training for public institutions at all levels, support to local infrastructure and services, technical support, and strengthening policy and other partnerships with a wide array of local actors.
- The people in need and people targeted figures include refugees, as well as impacted members of host communities. They are, however, provisional and subject to ongoing operational planning for 2021. Financial requirements are preliminary, and pending finalization and approval by partners.