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
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Middle East

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2018 {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"budget":[1956.138243929,1911.753328647,2030.943688046,2243.50849637,2475.14703711,2261.899451078],"expenditure":[1059.45956475,1212.9320557,1089.34285307,1127.37769918,null,null]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[1171.649811879,1074.174511887,1079.942153164,1120.2262255,1309.42586585,1205.230054371],"p2":[3.89799389,2.28713136,1.61649358,1.31344453,1.6335431,2.31974744],"p3":[35.76378805,26.70785472,146,259.2,259.38285378,317.833048648],"p4":[744.82665011,808.58383068,803.385041302,862.76882634,904.70477438,736.516600619]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[715.5914882,751.4589796,715.37560334,697.42488086,null,null],"p2":[2.16809421,1.48631248,0.96258046,0.86427745,null,null],"p3":[11.32961956,1.89021959,4.84129756,29.36963591,null,null],"p4":[330.37036278,458.09654403,368.16337171,399.71890496,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2020 [projected]

[["Refugees",2314049],["Asylum-seekers",139793],["IDPs",10089688],["Returned IDPs",1945752],["Returned refugees",275020],["Stateless",364530],["Others of concern",3343]]
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Operational environment

The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) continues to drive the largest refugee crisis in the world. The crisis is now in its ninth year, with more than 6.2 million Syrians remaining internally displaced (as of August 2019) and at least 5.6 million more registered as refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and North Africa.
The scale, severity and complexity of people’s humanitarian needs in Syria remain extensive. There are significant protection risks due to continuous hostilities in localized areas, new and protracted displacements, increased self-organized returns and the erosion of communities’ resilience without enhanced international support. In neighbouring countries, which are generously hosting refugees, infrastructure, services and local economies remain under immense strain.
Between January 2016 and September 2019, more than 209,000 Syrian refugees spontaneously returned from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. As of September 2019, the number of refugee returns stands at around 75,500, surpassing the total number verified throughout 2018 (55,248). Furthermore, an estimated 341,000 IDPs returned to their areas of origin in the first nine months of the year, according to OCHA. Intention surveys indicate that more than three quarters of the Syrian refugee population hope to be able to return one day.
The number of IDPs in Iraq has gradually declined since 2014, with some 1.55 million people still internally displaced, according to the Displacement Tracking Matrix of IOM in September 2019. Many of the 4.3 million IDP returnees face difficulty in accessing basic services, while still contending with ongoing insecurity, a lack of shelter and livelihood opportunities, and explosive hazards. These challenges have led to instances of protracted and secondary displacement and re-admittance to camps where return was not possible or sustainable. Meanwhile, at least 257,000 Iraqi refugees are registered with UNHCR in neighbouring countries, and almost 32,000 more people live in camps in the Al-Hasakeh Governorate in Syria without any form of registration.
In 2020, UNHCR protection efforts within the Syria and Iraq situations will focus on advocating access to territory, protection from refoulement, registration, preservation of the protection space and available solutions, and protection from violence and exploitation. UNHCR will call on States to increase their resettlement quotas for vulnerable refugees and strengthen other legal pathways for admitting vulnerable refugees, such as through humanitarian visas, private sponsorship or complementary pathways. Despite insecurity and constrained access, UNHCR will continue to strengthen its presence and emergency response capacity to provide millions of refugees and IDPs in the region with life-saving, multi-sectoral assistance. At the same time, it will seek to strengthen strategic partnerships with governments, development actors, international financial institutions, UN agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector for a whole-of-society response. UNHCR will also continue to lead the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), with UNDP in response to the Syria crisis, coordinating the work of more than 270 partners in the five main countries hosting Syrian refugees.
In Yemen, the five-year conflict continues to exact a brutal toll on the civilian population. There are 24.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance—more than 80% of the country’s entire population. Increasing food insecurity and partial blockades that hamper aid delivery continue to point towards a threat of famine. In 2019, there were nearly 4 million IDPs in Yemen, with 1.2 million returnees across 22 governorates. More than 440,000 of the most vulnerable IDPs lived across more than 1,500 sites that were ill-equipped to meet the multi-dimensional needs and protection of people of concern. In addition, some 276,000 refugees and asylum-seekers were hosted across the country with some confronted by anti-migrant rhetoric that led to a rise in arrests, detentions and restricted movements, particularly in the northern governorates.
UNHCR will be faced with ongoing operational challenges in the region as the conflict continues to evolve. UNHCR will address growing humanitarian needs with multi-sectoral assistance to people of concern, including protection services, shelter, basic relief items, multi-purpose cash and health support. It will also advocate for a sustained protection space for refugees.  
The political and security situation in Yemen is expected to remain tense in 2020 amid complex regional dynamics, while rival factions in Yemen compete for effective control across multiple governorates – creating new frontlines and detrimentally impacting civilians. Protection needs remain high, but insecurity and restricted humanitarian access will continue to affect UNHCR’s ability to deliver assistance across Yemen. It will nevertheless work to effectively coordinate with the Government in the south and the authorities in the north to improve humanitarian access to people of concern.


In the context of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, UNHCR will enhance its collaboration with both national and regional bodies towards strengthening protection for people of concern. Multi-lateral engagement will be expanded alongside advocacy initiatives to inform public discourse in favour of refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless persons. Finally, UNHCR will foster partnerships in the GCC, including regional organizations, to cultivate growing interest from Gulf states in engaging in UNHCR programmes and appeals.

2020 Budget for Middle East | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Iraq 177,062,196934,3070332,454,370510,450,874
Israel 6,000,0000006,000,000
Jordan 356,357,449000356,357,449
Lebanon 534,379,0771,008,63300535,387,710
Other operations in the Middle East 00018,000,00018,000,000
Saudi Arabia Multi-Country Office 11,284,686178,1670011,462,853
Syrian Arab Republic 46,968,149198,640317,833,049247,382,855612,382,693
Yemen 73,178,49700138,679,375211,857,873
Total 1,205,230,0542,319,747317,833,049736,516,6012,261,899,451

2020 Voluntary Contributions to Middle East | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Canada 0002,255,639 2,255,639
Czech Republic 211,298000 211,298
Netherlands 0002,690,748 2,690,748
Iraq subtotal 211,298004,946,387 5,157,685
Australia 1,355,932000 1,355,932
Canada 0004,511,278 4,511,278
Ireland 1,650,165000 1,650,165
Private donors in Switzerland 000136,026 136,026
Private donors in the Netherlands 65,735000 65,735
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 543,1690072,261 615,430
Private donors in the United States of America 4,534000 4,534
Saudi Arabia 2,400,000000 2,400,000
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 11,585,366000 11,585,366
Jordan subtotal 17,604,901004,719,565 22,324,466
Australia 3,728,814000 3,728,814
Canada 0009,774,436 9,774,436
Denmark 1,516,799000 1,516,799
European Union 11,726,664000 11,726,664
Monaco 238,949000 238,949
Netherlands 4,012,242000 4,012,242
Private donors in Switzerland 00060,060 60,060
Saudi Arabia 3,000,000000 3,000,000
Spain 1,100,110000 1,100,110
Sweden 193,735000 193,735
Lebanon subtotal 25,517,311009,834,496 35,351,807
Syrian Arab Republic
Canada 0005,263,158 5,263,158
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 0582,86500 582,865
Japan 0007,829,226 7,829,226
Spain 000550,055 550,055
Syrian Arab Republic subtotal 0582,865013,642,439 14,225,304
Belgium 142,2320639,0180 781,250
Saudi Arabia 12,000,000000 12,000,000
Spain 00334,8210 334,821
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1,046,96301,201,7110 2,248,675
Yemen subtotal 13,189,19502,175,5510 15,364,746
Total 56,522,705582,8652,175,55133,142,887 92,424,009
Latest contributions
  • 15-JAN-2020
  • 10-JAN-2020
  • 08-JAN-2020
  • 02-JAN-2020
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 31-DEC-2019
    Republic of Korea

    private donors

  • Angola
  • Malta
  • Spain
  • Netherlands

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  • United Arab Emirates

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  • Germany

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  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Canada

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  • 30-DEC-2019

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  • China

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  • Netherlands

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  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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  • Switzerland

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