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


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  • 2014
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  • 2019

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Middle East

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2017 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[1767.45606157,1956.138243929,1911.753328647,2030.943688046,2243.50849637,2486.32762058],"expenditure":[1099.48857212,1059.45956475,1212.9320557,1089.34285307,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[1071.29315117,1171.649811879,1074.174511887,1079.942153164,1120.2262255,1357.97395872],"p2":[3.83262054,3.89799389,2.28713136,1.61649358,1.31344453,1.4835431],"p3":[39.59885527,35.76378805,26.70785472,146,259.2,259.38285378],"p4":[652.73143459,744.82665011,808.58383068,803.385041302,862.76882634,867.48726498]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[712.10525101,715.5914882,751.4589796,715.37560334,null,null],"p2":[3.0784008,2.16809421,1.48631248,0.96258046,null,null],"p3":[10.53576239,11.32961956,1.89021959,4.84129756,null,null],"p4":[373.76915792,330.37036278,458.09654403,368.16337171,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2019 [projected]

[["Refugees",2580579],["Asylum-seekers",150836],["IDPs",8730566],["Returned IDPs",3454074],["Returned refugees",344000],["Stateless",183500],["Others of concern",4013]]
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Operational Environment

Armed conflicts and the subsequent large-scale displacements continue to characterise the Middle East sub-region. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) system-wide, Level 3 emergency declarations for the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) and Yemen remain in effect. Basic services to displaced people and host communities are expected to remain overstretched in 2019.
The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Iraq has gradually declined, with 1.9 million people currently displaced from the conflict, which began in 2014. The number of IDP returnees has increased to 4.1 million. Despite this trend, many IDPs remain in a protracted displacement situation or in secondary or tertiary displacement situations, as was the case for people who have made unsuccessful attempts to return to areas of origin and went back to camps. Poor living conditions in areas of return, ongoing insecurity, the lack of shelter, services and livelihood opportunities, and explosive hazards continued to result in displacement. There is a need for continued support to the displaced population and extensive reconstruction to allow for sustainable return. More than 270,000 Iraqi refugees and asylum-seekers are registered with UNHCR in neighbouring countries namely in Egypt, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
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.
The Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) remains one of the largest, most complex and dynamic humanitarian crisis in the world. While large-scale military operations have largely subsided in some areas, around 6.2 million Syrians remain internally displaced and 5.6 million people have sought refuge in the region as of September 2018; in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Humanitarian needs in Syria remain staggering in terms of scale, severity and complexity, with significant protection risks persisting in a number of areas. Some 12.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with some 5.2 million people are in acute need.
In the asylum countries, the protection impact of the crisis on vulnerable men, women, girls and boys remains worrying and will have lasting consequences: early marriage, exposure to trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence as well as to exploitation. UNHCR continues to lead, together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), coordinating the work of over 270 partners in the five main countries hosting Syrian refugees and working towards meeting the compelling needs of refugees and vulnerable host communities. For 2019, early disbursement, flexible and multi-year funding, including broadly earmarked contributions, would enable 3RP partners to respond to the most pressing needs in a strategic way.
Finding long-term, sustainable solutions to the plight of refugees will remain integral to UNHCR’s work in 2019. On returns, UNHCR recognizes that refugees have the fundamental human right to return in safety and dignity to their country of origin at a time of their own choosing. The free and informed decision of Syrians to return is fundamental. From January to August 2018, UNHCR had confirmed 23,000 self-organized returns, bringing the number of self-organized refugee returns to Syria since 2015 to 100,000. UNHCR is not able to monitor and confirm every spontaneous return to Syria as it is not facilitating these moves; thus the actual figure of returns is likely much higher. In addition, an estimated 750,000 IDPs have returned home to areas of relative stability in Syria. For those Syrian refugees choosing to return voluntarily, UNHCR will support them to return in dignity. In terms of larger-scale return, UNHCR, UN agencies and NGO partners have been engaged in preparedness and planning since early 2017. The guiding document for returns is the Comprehensive Protection and Solutions Strategy: Protection Thresholds and Parameters for Refugee Return to Syria, issued in February 2018.
In Yemen, 22.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, amounting to 75 per cent of the population. While two million Yemenis have fled their homes and are now internally displaced within the country, a further 280,000 refugees and asylum-seekers of other nationalities, mainly from the Horn of Africa, are also at risk in Yemen. 
As a matter of crucial importance, UNHCR will continue to provide assistance to both refugee and host communities in the Middle East, supporting improvements in social cohesion and peaceful co-existence.
With over 10 million IDPs in the region, UNHCR will also continue to respond to ongoing and protracted displacement inside Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Furthermore, UNHCR will maintain its response to the dramatic consequences of mixed movements in the region, while working to alleviate some of the underlying drivers of such flows.

Strategy and Response

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, UNHCR will cooperate closely with civil-society organizations, as well as regional organizations including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the GCC Secretariat. 

2019 Budget for Middle East | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Iraq 185,673,863465,7800421,520,296607,659,939
Israel 4,491,9670004,491,967
Jordan 371,820,283000371,820,283
Lebanon 562,157,934603,04500562,760,979
Saudi Arabia Regional Office 11,232,785216,0770011,448,862
Syrian Arab Republic 46,968,149198,641259,382,854317,833,049624,382,693
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office 22,613,2820018,000,00040,613,282
Yemen 88,514,71700110,133,920198,648,637
Regional activities 64,500,97800064,500,978
Total 1,357,973,9591,483,543259,382,854867,487,2652,486,327,621

2019 Voluntary Contributions to Middle East | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Middle East overall
Private donors in Brazil 4,401000 4,401
Private donors in Canada 000183,150 183,150
Private donors in Germany 000344,432 344,432
Russian Federation 300,000000 300,000
Middle East overall subtotal 304,40100527,582 831,983
Germany 006,818,1820 6,818,182
Japan 00013,035,714 13,035,714
Kuwait 30,000000 30,000
Netherlands 00428,0000 428,000
Private donors in Brazil 001400 140
Private donors in Italy 003420 342
Sweden 0001,319,987 1,319,987
Iraq subtotal 30,00007,246,66414,355,701 21,632,365
Australia 3,776,435000 3,776,435
Ireland 1,706,485000 1,706,485
Italy 373,007000 373,007
Japan 3,571,425000 3,571,425
Netherlands 107,000000 107,000
Private donors in Canada 19000 19
Private donors in Egypt 816007,062 7,878
Private donors in Germany 47,6090044,239 91,848
Private donors in Italy 115000 115
Private donors in Kuwait 4,8820017,402 22,284
Private donors in Lebanon 29,7760091,700 121,476
Private donors in Oman 3,902009,561 13,463
Private donors in Saudi Arabia 22,4750043,824 66,299
Private donors in the Netherlands 84,181000 84,181
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 48,0360086,375 134,411
Saudi Arabia 442,806000 442,806
Jordan subtotal 10,218,96700300,164 10,519,132
Australia 2,265,861000 2,265,861
Denmark 7,294,658000 7,294,658
European Union 22,363,459000 22,363,459
Japan 3,571,428000 3,571,428
Monaco 238,949000 238,949
Netherlands 682,125000 682,125
Private donors in Egypt 5,738007,062 12,800
Private donors in Italy 9,001003,082 12,083
Private donors in Kuwait 714,8170017,402 732,219
Private donors in Lebanon 23,4650091,700 115,165
Private donors in Oman 591009,561 10,152
Private donors in Saudi Arabia 123,4890044,771 168,260
Private donors in Spain 11,4160034,247 45,662
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 25,5160086,375 111,891
Saudi Arabia 1,523,459000 1,523,459
Spain 568,828000 568,828
Switzerland 158,464000 158,464
Lebanon subtotal 39,581,26400294,201 39,875,464
Regional activities
Italy 209,015000 209,015
Regional activities subtotal 209,015000 209,015
Syrian Arab Republic
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 0311,820999,9830 1,311,803
European Union 00956,3630 956,363
Japan 001,800,0007,571,428 9,371,428
Private donors in Qatar 000995,100 995,100
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 00120,375100,000 220,375
Russian Federation 00500,0000 500,000
Slovenia 00057,405 57,405
Sweden 002,199,9780 2,199,978
Syrian Arab Republic subtotal 0311,8206,576,6998,723,933 15,612,453
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 0098,7080 98,708
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office subtotal 0098,7080 98,708
Belgium 426,69701,917,0530 2,343,750
European Union 003,412,9690 3,412,969
Japan 0003,571,428 3,571,428
Kuwait 9,906,542013,093,4580 23,000,000
Private donors in Egypt 000500,384 500,384
Private donors in Lebanon 0005,280 5,280
Private donors in Oman 000373 373
Private donors in Qatar 001,335,0000 1,335,000
Private donors in Saudi Arabia 0001,137 1,137
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 0006,544 6,544
Qatar 001,247,66487,336 1,335,000
Saudi Arabia 001,164,0010 1,164,001
Spain 00716,1900 716,190
Sweden 0001,649,984 1,649,984
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2,100,16002,402,3320 4,502,492
United States of America 00010,000,000 10,000,000
Yemen subtotal 12,433,399025,288,66815,822,465 53,544,532
Total 62,777,046311,82039,210,73840,024,046 142,323,651