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:
Latest update of camps and office locations 21 Nov 2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.
Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Middle East
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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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 ImplementationOperations in Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, 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
|Saudi Arabia Regional Office||5,985,281||216,077||0||0||6,201,357|
|Syrian Arab Republic||47,257,066||198,641||0||305,544,294||353,000,000|
|Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office||26,395,815||0||0||30,000,000||56,395,815|
|United Arab Emirates||4,871,010||0||0||0||4,871,010|
2018 Voluntary Contributions to Middle East | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|Middle East overall|
|Private donors in the United Arab Emirates||0||0||200,000||200,000|
|Middle East overall subtotal||0||0||23,084,913||23,084,913|
|Private donors in the Netherlands||2,766,946||0||0||2,766,946|
|Private donors in Kuwait||500,000||0||0||500,000|
|Regional activities subtotal||126,823||0||0||126,823|
|Syrian Arab Republic|
|Private donors in Qatar||0||1,322,694||0||1,322,694|
|Syrian Arab Republic subtotal||0||8,893,398||0||8,893,398|
|Private donors in Qatar||0||0||552,210||552,210|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||2,230,256||2,339,337||0||4,569,593|