Middle East

Operational information on the Middle East subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:

| Bahrain | Iraq | Israel | Jordan |Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia| Syrian Arab Republic | United Arab Emirates | Yemen |


Subregion: Middle East


Latest update of camps and office locations: October 2017. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Middle East

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2016 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[1445.38803915,1767.45606157,1956.138243929,1911.753328647,2031.30368806,2243.97989639],"expenditure":[961.25416817,1099.48857212,1059.45956475,1212.9320557,null,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[1060.74997701,1071.29315117,1171.649811879,1074.174511887,1080.30215317,1120.69762551],"p2":[3.74482986,3.83262054,3.89799389,2.28713136,1.61649358,1.31344453],"p3":[27.30414868,39.59885527,35.76378805,26.70785472,146,259.2],"p4":[353.5890836,652.73143459,744.82665011,808.58383068,803.38504131,862.76882635]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[691.76318386,712.10525101,715.5914882,751.4589796,null,null],"p2":[1.35669238,3.0784008,2.16809421,1.48631248,null,null],"p3":[14.49497183,10.53576239,11.32961956,1.89021959,null,null],"p4":[253.6393201,373.76915792,330.37036278,458.09654403,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2018 [projected]

[["Refugees",2634658],["Refugee-like situation",24084],["Asylum-seekers",161873],["IDPs",9406855],["Returned IDPs",3633009],["Returned refugees",200000],["Stateless",274020],["Others of concern",4012]]
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Operational Environment

The Middle East subregion continues to be characterized by armed conflict and the large-scale displacement followed by it. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) system-wide, Level 3 emergency declarations for Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) and Yemen remain in effect, with all three emergencies deteriorating further in 2017 – a trend that will likely continue into 2018.
In Iraq, the security and protection environment remains fluid, with serious protection risks for displaced Iraqis, IDP returnees and refugees. Despite the success in retaking Ninewa Governorate in August 2017, over 833,000 people remain displaced due to the Mosul crisis and are in need of protection and assistance. The country continues to face multiple humanitarian crises with the ongoing military operation in west Anbar Governorate and continued violence in disputed territories. Although there is an increased interest in returns, the protection environment for civilians remains precarious due to continuing security risks, extensive destruction of properties and critical infrastructure, fear of pro-government armed groups and risk of attacks for those perceived to have family affiliations with extremists. UNHCR will continue enhancing protection space in camps and urban settings, providing assistance to the vulnerable, and seeking solutions for all groups of concern.
In Israel, despite some limited forms of protection for Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers, the protection environment is anticipated to decline further, with the sustained implementation of policies and legislation intended to encourage departures.
Syria is the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis in the world today. The conflict is in its seventh year, with 6.15 million people internally displaced. Over 1.3 million people were newly displaced during the first half of 2017. A total of 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access remains critical. As of September 2017, more than 5.1 million Syrian refugees were registered in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Despite the fluid security situation in Syria, some areas of relative stability are emerging. An estimated 600,000 IDPs and more than 30,000 refugees spontaneously returned home in the first half of 2017. However, conditions for return in safety and dignity are not yet in place and UNHCR does not promote, nor facilitate, the return of refugees to Syria at this time. UNHCR is enhancing protection and assistance in Syria for those IDPs and refugees who may voluntarily and spontaneously return, as well as continuing its programmes for IDPs and those newly displaced.
In countries of asylum, the UNHCR-led Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) continues to be the regional coordination and planning tool to address the protection and resilience needs of Syrian refugees, in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. In 2018, the 3RP will continue to focus on pursuing innovation and to encourage efficiency, while promoting synergies between resilience and humanitarian programming.
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen worsened during the course of 2017, compounded by the threat of famine and a major outbreak of cholera. The pace of airstrikes and armed clashes escalated significantly, resulting in new displacement, scores of civilian casualties and an acute protection crisis.  
The continuous and deepening decline of Yemen’s economic situation, the disruption of basic services and destruction of infrastructure, has impacted civilians the most, with 20.7 million people now in need of humanitarian or protection assistance – an increase of almost 2 million since the end of 2016. Humanitarian access continued to be challenged by ongoing insecurity, delays and interferences in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. In 2018, the situation in Yemen is expected to remain characterized as a protracted, complex emergency with unprecedented humanitarian needs.
Almost two million civilians remain internally displaced, 84 per cent of whom have been displaced for over a year. Some 950,000 IDPs returned to their locations of origin, sometimes under precarious conditions. UNHCR and partners observed increased protection needs, with more people than ever resorting to negative coping mechanisms, particularly amidst spreading food insecurity and ongoing conflict.
Yemen is also host to more than 280,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Somalia, and who are suffering from the escalation of the conflict, inadequate basic services and a shrinking economy that has weakened the protection environment. Despite war and insecurity that make conditions in Yemen not conducive to asylum, there were an estimated 60,000 new arrivals to Yemen during 2017. UNHCR is therefore engaged in widening the scope of a regional information campaign, to spread awareness about the risks of crossing from the Horn of Africa to and through war-stricken Yemen.
Within this context, UNHCR started implementing a programme to assist Somali refugees in Yemen voluntarily returning to Somalia, and in 2018 will continue to support refugees through this programme.
In the framework of the IDP response, UNHCR being a lead of Protection and Shelter/NFI/CCCM Clusters, will continue assisting all people of concern including IDPs, IDP returnees and members of the host community. UNHCR will continue leading the protection and multi-sector response for refugees and asylum-seekers in urban settings and in Kharaz refugee camp, with the aim of maintaining the current asylum space.

Response and Implementation

Operations in IraqIsraelJordanLebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen are presented in separate country chapters. For other countries where UNHCR operates in the subregion, please see below.

In the context of the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, UNHCR will work with Governments, national institutions and the private sector to expand asylum and protection space for people of concern, promote expanded multilateral engagement and carry out advocacy initiatives aimed at informing public discourse. In parallel, the Office will cooperate closely with civil-society organizations, through the Civil Society Network for Displacement, as well as regional organizations including the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to explore areas of collaboration aimed at addressing displacement challenges in the region. 

2018 Budget for Middle East | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Iraq 135,891,731307,8210423,626,565559,826,117
Israel 3,957,0760003,957,076
Jordan 274,896,607000274,896,607
Lebanon 462,444,318590,90600463,035,224
Saudi Arabia Regional Office 5,871,573216,077006,087,650
Syrian Arab Republic 47,246,066198,641259,200,000305,544,294612,189,000
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office 28,559,7970030,000,00058,559,797
United Arab Emirates 4,833,0100004,833,010
Yemen 95,145,66900103,597,968198,743,637
Regional activities 61,851,77900061,851,779
Total 1,120,697,6261,313,445259,200,000862,768,8262,243,979,896

2018 Voluntary Contributions to Middle East | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Middle East overall
Private donors in Brazil 49,31500 49,315
Private donors in Kuwait 33,33300 33,333
Private donors in Switzerland 00308,571 308,571
Private donors in the United States of America 00665,349 665,349
Russian Federation 300,00000 300,000
Slovenia 0047,790 47,790
Middle East overall subtotal 382,64801,021,710 1,404,358
Belgium 0284,4140 284,414
Canada 003,396,226 3,396,226
Finland 001,851,852 1,851,852
Germany 08,892,0450 8,892,045
Japan 4,000,08815,000,0000 19,000,088
Kuwait 7,120,000050,000 7,170,000
Private donors in Brazil 01,1430 1,143
Private donors in Italy 0600 60
Private donors in Qatar 02,100,3030 2,100,303
Private donors in Sweden 0043,416 43,416
Private donors in Switzerland 006,470 6,470
Qatar 03,000,0003,000,000 6,000,000
Sweden 001,776,650 1,776,650
Switzerland 01,016,2600 1,016,260
Iraq subtotal 11,120,08830,294,22610,124,614 51,538,927
Australia 3,776,43500 3,776,435
Austria 184,04900 184,049
Belgium 426,62100 426,621
Canada 10,566,03800 10,566,038
Estonia 41,81600 41,816
Japan 4,700,00000 4,700,000
Norway 3,570,97300 3,570,973
Private donors in Australia 285,34100 285,341
Private donors in Canada 40,60000 40,600
Private donors in Italy 1,71600 1,716
Private donors in Lebanon 33,97800 33,978
Private donors in Spain 12,27000 12,270
Private donors in Switzerland 123,02900 123,029
Private donors in the Netherlands 2,766,94600 2,766,946
Private donors in the United States of America 176,55000 176,550
Switzerland 001,016,260 1,016,260
Jordan subtotal 26,706,36201,016,260 27,722,622
Australia 2,265,86100 2,265,861
Belgium 426,62100 426,621
Canada 13,584,90600 13,584,906
Estonia 47,79000 47,790
European Union 11,928,55600 11,928,556
Italy 3,726,70800 3,726,708
Japan 2,500,00000 2,500,000
Monaco 118,48300 118,483
Netherlands 650,93100 650,931
Norway 4,463,71600 4,463,716
Private donors in Italy 327012 340
Private donors in Kuwait 500,00000 500,000
Saudi Arabia 3,486,87500 3,486,875
Spain 1,373,95500 1,373,955
Switzerland 1,016,26000 1,016,260
Lebanon subtotal 46,090,990012 46,091,002
Regional activities
Italy 148,13600 148,136
Regional activities subtotal 148,13600 148,136
Syrian Arab Republic
Bulgaria 092,0250 92,025
Canada 07,473,8420 7,473,842
Finland 01,234,5680 1,234,568
Japan 04,341,8691,040,000 5,381,869
Norway 06,376,7380 6,376,738
Private donors in Germany 00134,694 134,694
Private donors in Qatar 01,322,6940 1,322,694
Private donors in the United States of America 001,000,000 1,000,000
Russian Federation 0500,0000 500,000
Sweden 03,172,5890 3,172,589
Switzerland 01,016,2600 1,016,260
UNICEF 096,8620 96,862
Syrian Arab Republic subtotal 025,627,4462,174,694 27,802,141
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office
Japan 01,598,1310 1,598,131
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office subtotal 01,598,1310 1,598,131
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates 00100,000 100,000
United Arab Emirates subtotal 00100,000 100,000
Canada 001,178,319 1,178,319
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 05,970,5990 5,970,599
Finland 001,234,568 1,234,568
Japan 1,972,2954,527,7050 6,500,000
Private donors in Germany 00368,098 368,098
Private donors in Qatar 00552,210 552,210
Saudi Arabia 04,655,9990 4,655,999
Slovakia 0236,9670 236,967
Sweden 002,538,071 2,538,071
Switzerland 001,016,260 1,016,260
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2,677,8774,669,4930 7,347,370
United States of America 0013,900,000 13,900,000
Yemen subtotal 4,650,17220,060,76320,787,526 45,498,461
Total 89,098,39677,580,56635,224,817 201,903,778