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

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Middle East

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2017 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[1767.45606157,1956.138243929,1911.753328647,2030.943688046,2243.50849637,2487.702324555],"expenditure":[1099.48857212,1059.45956475,1212.9320557,1089.34285307,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[1071.29315117,1171.649811879,1074.174511887,1079.942153164,1120.2262255,1359.34866207],"p2":[3.83262054,3.89799389,2.28713136,1.61649358,1.31344453,1.483543799],"p3":[39.59885527,35.76378805,26.70785472,146,259.2,259.382853858],"p4":[652.73143459,744.82665011,808.58383068,803.385041302,862.76882634,867.487264828]} {"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 185,673,863465,7810421,520,296607,659,940
Israel 4,291,9670004,291,967
Jordan 371,820,283000371,820,283
Lebanon 562,157,934603,04500562,760,980
Saudi Arabia Regional Office 10,704,493216,0770010,920,570
Syrian Arab Republic 46,968,149198,641259,382,854305,833,049612,382,693
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office 22,500,0000030,000,00052,500,000
Yemen 88,514,71700110,133,920198,648,637
Regional activities 66,717,25500066,717,255
Total 1,359,348,6621,483,544259,382,854867,487,2652,487,702,325

2019 Voluntary Contributions to Middle East | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Germany 006,818,1820 6,818,182
Iraq subtotal 006,818,1820 6,818,182
Australia 3,776,435000 3,776,435
Italy 373,007000 373,007
Private donors in the Netherlands 84,181000 84,181
Jordan subtotal 4,233,623000 4,233,623
Australia 2,265,861000 2,265,861
Denmark 4,268,943000 4,268,943
European Union 22,363,459000 22,363,459
Monaco 238,949000 238,949
Private donors in Kuwait 500,000000 500,000
Spain 605,233000 605,233
Lebanon subtotal 30,242,445000 30,242,445
Regional activities
Italy 179,056000 179,056
Regional activities subtotal 179,056000 179,056
Syrian Arab Republic
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 0311,82000 311,820
PRIV DONORS UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 00120,375100,000 220,375
Syrian Arab Republic subtotal 0311,820120,375100,000 532,195
Belgium 426,69701,917,0530 2,343,750
European Union 003,412,9690 3,412,969
Kuwait 9,906,542013,093,4580 23,000,000
Saudi Arabia 001,164,0010 1,164,001
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2,100,16002,402,3320 4,502,492
Yemen subtotal 12,433,399021,989,8140 34,423,212
Total 47,088,523311,82028,928,371100,000 76,428,714