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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Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Middle East

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2017 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[695.851374562,1445.38803915,1767.45606157,1956.138243929,1911.753328647,2030.943688046],"expenditure":[431.06647686,961.25416817,1099.48857212,1059.45956475,1212.9320557,1089.34285307]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[453.287096122,1060.74997701,1071.29315117,1171.649811879,1074.174511887,1079.942153164],"p2":[3.21056639,3.74482986,3.83262054,3.89799389,2.28713136,1.61649358],"p3":[29.91426377,27.30414868,39.59885527,35.76378805,26.70785472,146],"p4":[209.43944828,353.5890836,652.73143459,744.82665011,808.58383068,803.385041302]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[287.74575398,691.76318386,712.10525101,715.5914882,751.4589796,715.37560334],"p2":[1.08610169,1.35669238,3.0784008,2.16809421,1.48631248,0.96258046],"p3":[22.86569699,14.49497183,10.53576239,11.32961956,1.89021959,4.84129756],"p4":[119.3689242,253.6393201,373.76915792,330.37036278,458.09654403,368.16337171]}
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People of Concern - 2017

[["Refugees",2260595],["Refugee-like situation",25226],["Asylum-seekers",133360],["IDPs",10780055],["Returned IDPs",2268772],["Returned refugees",78086],["Stateless",370872],["Others of concern",15436]]
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Response in 2017

In 2017, the Middle East region continued to experience complex and multiple armed conflicts, particularly in Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), and Yemen. Despite insecurity and constrained access, UNHCR remained committed to its work across the subregion. It reached millions of displaced people inside Syria, providing protection, shelter, basic relief items and health assistance. Iraqis received multipurpose cash assistance, while in Yemen, UNHCR provided core relief items, emergency shelter kits, returnee kits and cash based interventions (CBIs) to families.

Despite some positive developments in Iraq, including the return of large numbers of IDPs, UNHCR remained concerned by the risk of further displacement, forced evictions and revenge attacks against communities. By the end of 2017, there were nearly 277,000 Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers registered in the region, making them the second largest refugee population group after Syrians in the region. 

The Government of Iraq declared Mosul retaken in mid July 2017, and retaking of all Iraqi territory in December 2017. Despite large numbers of IDP returns, there were still 2.6 million internally displaced Iraqis by the end of the year. Grave protection challenges remained, which could result in further displacement, inter communal violence and SGBV. 

The situation in Syria continued to be the largest humanitarian and refugee crisis in the world, with some 6.15 million Syrians internally displaced (slightly decreased from 6.3 million during the year) and nearly 5.5 million refugees hosted in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and across North Africa. Despite security and operational challenges, UNHCR and partners reached approximately 2.6 million people inside Syria with protection services, over 3 million people with core relief items and nearly 480,000 people with emergency and long-term or permanent shelter support, including through cross-border interventions from Jordan and Turkey. 

While fighting and displacement continued in some parts, with the emergence of some areas of relative stability, the return of IDPs increased in 2017. While conditions were not assessed to be conducive for returns, there were over 840,000 returns in 2017 including some 77,000 refugee returns. Focus group discussions on return indicate the majority want to return to Syria only when conditions of safety and security exist in areas of return.

UNHCR’s refugee response was designed in accordance with the Grand Bargain commitments and the principle of burden- and responsibility-sharing, which is at the core of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) contained in Annex I to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. Together with UNDP, UNHCR continued to lead the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in response to the Syria crisis (3RP), which is built around government-led national plans, cost-effective and innovative programming, and carried out in a coalition of over 270 partners. In 2017, 3RP partners, in support of national efforts, reached 3.9 Syrian refugees and members of the host community with health and nutrition services, 2.7 million people with basic needs assistance, and more than 2.7 million people with food assistance.

In Yemen, UNHCR significantly expanded its field presence with the establishment of offices in Hudaydah and Sa’ada, allowing for greater outreach to refugees and asylum-seekers, IDPs and host communities. With the conflict in its third year, the situation in Yemen deteriorated even further than predicted, owing to ongoing insecurity, access restrictions, and protracted displacement. Despite the challenges, UNHCR continued to deliver humanitarian and protection assistance to more than 800,000 IDPs and strengthened its outreach programme to benefit more vulnerable refugees. UNHCR also reinforced protection monitoring in coordination with the Protection Cluster to address ever-growing needs and new displacement.

Operations

The 2017 response for Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen are presented in their dedicated country pages. For other operations in the region, see below. 

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries continued to host millions of third-country nationals, many of whom originated from refugee-producing countries. While there were some positive developments in terms of complementary legal pathways, in particular in the United Arab Emirates, the overall protection environment remained restrictive.   

Partnership engagement with public and private entities in the Gulf remained a central priority, with UNHCR forging successful relationships that bore significant financial contributions for refugee and IDP operations globally. 

Operational environment and strategy

The situation in the Middle East subregion remains complex and volatile; with the conflicts in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen triggering massive levels of displacement as millions of people flee in search of safety.
 
Now in its sixth year, the conflict in Syrian Arab Republic has resulted in the internal displacement of over 6.1 million people, with nearly 4.8 million having fled to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Intense fighting in the northern parts of the Syrian Arab Republic has led to a large number of civilian casualties and the displacement of over 400,000 people since the beginning of 2016. The deteriorating security environment significantly impacted the humanitarian situation, and limited the ability of United Nations agencies and their partners to deliver much-needed humanitarian relief. In particular, the humanitarian situation in the city of Aleppo and its surroundings has deteriorated severely in 2016. In Iraq, the ongoing conflict has led to a further deterioration of the humanitarian crisis and successive waves of mass displacement. More than 3.2 million people have been internally displaced since January 2014 and there are over 240,000 Iraqi refugees in the region. Since the start of the offensive in Mosul on 17 October 2016, over 90,000 individuals have been displaced. In Yemen, the already precarious situation deteriorated drastically in 2016; 8 out of 10 people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance. Security constraints and bureaucratic impediments severely hampered humanitarian assistance.
 
In addition to providing access to public services, some host countries made notable progress on policy and regulation changes in 2016, particularly in the areas of livelihood opportunities and education for refugees. However, protracted displacement also has a significant impact on the hosting countries. Despite the generosity of host governments and communities, displaced people across the region are becoming increasingly vulnerable and impoverished as the conflicts persist. In Lebanon, 70 per cent of Syrian refugees are living below the poverty line and in Jordan, 90 per cent of registered Syrian refugees who live in urban areas are below the national poverty line. Furthermore, the multiplicity of crisis in and around the region pushes people fleeing conflict to seek refuge in countries also affected by war. War-torn Yemen continues to be a destination country for new arrivals from Somalia. 
 
In 2017, UNHCR will continue to prioritize the provision of life-saving assistance and protection to internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees across the Middle East. In Syria and Iraq, UNHCR will continue to support the implementation of the Humanitarian Response Plans, leading the Protection, Non-Food Items (NFI) and Shelter, and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) sectors. As part of the whole-of-Syria approach, UNHCR will maximize the delivery of assistance and protection through cross-border and cross-line interventions to ensure those in besieged and hard-to reach areas can be reached. UNHCR will continue to work closely with governments and partners, co-leading the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) to address the protection and assistance needs of Syrian refugees, as well as the most vulnerable members of host communities. In order to support the countries bearing the financial and social costs of the refugee crisis, UNHCR will continue to garner support of the international community including through increased resettlement commitments and other forms of humanitarian admission. In war-torn countries hosting refugees such as Yemen, UNHCR will also explore assisted spontaneous return options for people in need of international protection, when appropriate. Across the region, notably in Israel and the Gulf countries, UNHCR will continue targeted advocacy and media interventions as well as capacity building initiatives, to promote acceptance of asylum seekers and refugees. 

Response and implementation

Operations 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 Gulf region (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates), UNHCR will seek new partnerships with governments and the private sector while also working to advance engagement, cooperation and coordination with local organizations. In parallel, the Office will continue to strengthen its ties with regional bodies, including the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States as well as respective associated sub-organs. While GCC countries are not signatories to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol and there are no legislative or administrative provisions which particularly govern refugees, the region adopts a policy of generosity and tolerance. There are almost 5,000 refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR in the region. In addition, the six countries play host to millions of migrant workers from a diverse set of countries, many of which originate from refugee-producing countries. UNHCR works closely with authorities to enhance protection interventions and ease restrictions for humanitarian cases when applicable.
 

2017 Budget and Expenditure in Middle East | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Total
Iraq Budget
Expenditure
137,529,390
78,071,264
623,739
267,251
0
0
418,940,632
174,038,181
557,093,761
252,376,697
Israel Budget
Expenditure
3,731,972
2,867,664
0
0
0
0
0
0
3,731,972
2,867,664
Jordan Budget
Expenditure
277,212,606
238,507,054
0
0
0
0
0
0
277,212,606
238,507,054
Lebanon Budget
Expenditure
463,887,386
325,267,608
606,297
549,420
0
0
0
0
464,493,683
325,817,028
Saudi Arabia Regional Office Budget
Expenditure
5,472,287
4,529,821
175,288
138,592
0
0
0
0
5,647,575
4,668,413
Syrian Arab Republic Budget
Expenditure
47,400,000
16,498,206
211,170
7,318
146,000,000
4,841,298
303,988,899
138,381,631
497,600,068
159,728,453
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office Budget
Expenditure
26,188,949
17,051,225
0
0
0
0
30,079,617
14,457,945
56,268,566
31,509,170
United Arab Emirates Budget
Expenditure
4,148,107
3,195,608
0
0
0
0
0
0
4,148,107
3,195,608
Yemen Budget
Expenditure
63,273,754
28,778,660
0
0
0
0
50,375,894
41,285,615
113,649,648
70,064,275
Regional activities Budget
Expenditure
51,097,702
608,492
0
0
0
0
0
0
51,097,702
608,492
Total Budget
Expenditure
1,079,942,153
715,375,603
1,616,494
962,580
146,000,000
4,841,298
803,385,041
368,163,372
2,030,943,688
1,089,342,853

2017 Voluntary Contributions to Middle East | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 4
IDP projects
All
pillars
Total
Middle East overall
Denmark 4,744,58301,000,000 5,744,583
Finland 4,268,94301,067,236 5,336,179
Germany 8,743,169075,113,146 83,856,316
Iceland 00220,000 220,000
Isle of Man 1,217,77200 1,217,772
Japan 001,792,436 1,792,436
Norway 4,859,67703,510,825 8,370,502
Philippines 0050,000 50,000
Poland 602,37700 602,377
Portugal 00162,816 162,816
Private donors in Australia 00778,782 778,782
Private donors in Austria 310824 856
Private donors in Bangladesh 00278 278
Private donors in Canada 32,8340201,724 234,558
Private donors in China 0060,875 60,875
Private donors in Egypt 16800 168
Private donors in France 002,920 2,920
Private donors in Germany 007,724,130 7,724,130
Private donors in Greece 001,685 1,685
Private donors in India 001,101 1,101
Private donors in Ireland 00671 671
Private donors in Italy 0061,156 61,156
Private donors in Japan 0067,075 67,075
Private donors in Kuwait 0040,387 40,387
Private donors in Lebanon 21,59000 21,590
Private donors in Monaco 0065,510 65,510
Private donors in Oman 1,21300 1,213
Private donors in Philippines 0031,600 31,600
Private donors in Qatar 001,000 1,000
Private donors in Saudi Arabia 126,667095 126,762
Private donors in Singapore 007,128 7,128
Private donors in Spain 00299,661 299,661
Private donors in Sweden 00500,941 500,941
Private donors in Switzerland 002,906,713 2,906,713
Private donors in Thailand 0048,853 48,853
Private donors in Turkey 8303,941 4,023
Private donors in the Netherlands 0056,946 56,946
Private donors in the Republic of Korea 001,846,807 1,846,807
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 6,1320200,000 206,132
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 00372,050 372,050
Private donors in the United States of America 294,56601,860,439 2,155,005
Russian Federation 300,00000 300,000
Slovenia 0033,520 33,520
Spain 21,03200 21,032
Sweden 3,318,95100 3,318,951
United States of America 00146,300,000 146,300,000
Middle East overall subtotal 28,559,7900246,393,274 274,953,063
Iraq
Austria 02,347,9190 2,347,919
Belgium 0853,2420 853,242
Bulgaria 058,0720 58,072
Canada 003,396,226 3,396,226
China 835,33300 835,333
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 03,842,2910 3,842,291
European Union 34,9293,257,3290 3,292,258
France 04,743,1050 4,743,105
Germany 5,428,88252,913,3000 58,342,182
Japan 2,607,60018,841,8000 21,449,400
Kuwait 2,580,00000 2,580,000
Lithuania 0042,965 42,965
Luxembourg 00784,519 784,519
Private donors in Australia 0033,543 33,543
Private donors in Brazil 06,6630 6,663
Private donors in China 06,4250 6,425
Private donors in France 01870 187
Private donors in Germany 002,972,768 2,972,768
Private donors in Italy 021,9900 21,990
Private donors in Philippines 0071 71
Private donors in Qatar 01,755,1670 1,755,167
Private donors in Sweden 0074,937 74,937
Private donors in Switzerland 001,792 1,792
Private donors in Turkey 01,6000 1,600
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 0745,00097,869 842,869
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 060,3990 60,399
Private donors in the United States of America 40,00047,623300,000 387,623
Republic of Korea 001,200,000 1,200,000
Spain 1,62357,3080 58,931
Sweden 02,953,1801,548,844 4,502,024
Switzerland 01,479,2900 1,479,290
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 012,080,5370 12,080,537
United States of America 26,500,00000 26,500,000
Iraq subtotal 38,028,367106,072,42710,453,533 154,554,328
Israel
UNAIDS 85,00000 85,000
Israel subtotal 85,00000 85,000
Jordan
Australia 3,776,43500 3,776,435
Austria 1,387,40700 1,387,407
Belgium 1,279,86300 1,279,863
Canada 10,566,03800 10,566,038
Cyprus 11,84800 11,848
Czech Republic 1,692,04700 1,692,047
Estonia 48,02600 48,026
European Union 13,431,13700 13,431,137
France 2,301,55300 2,301,553
Germany 35,272,06100 35,272,061
Italy 1,663,93000 1,663,930
Japan 7,948,57500 7,948,575
Kuwait 5,000,00000 5,000,000
Luxembourg 392,25900 392,259
Malaysia 150,00000 150,000
Netherlands 6,131,26600 6,131,266
Norway 4,095,96300 4,095,963
PRIV DONORS INDONESIA 2,000,00000 2,000,000
PRIV DONORS UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 2,090,43200 2,090,432
Private donors in Australia 261,49000 261,490
Private donors in Austria 8000 80
Private donors in Canada 1,350,53200 1,350,532
Private donors in Egypt 27,65100 27,651
Private donors in Germany 126,30400 126,304
Private donors in Italy 125,77400 125,774
Private donors in Kuwait 34,13800 34,138
Private donors in Lebanon 28,78100 28,781
Private donors in Saudi Arabia 33,330025 33,355
Private donors in Singapore 100,00000 100,000
Private donors in Sweden 24,33400 24,334
Private donors in Switzerland 1,345,04400 1,345,044
Private donors in the Netherlands 1,499,89000 1,499,890
Private donors in the United Arab Emirates 204,01100 204,011
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 673,51200 673,512
Private donors in the United States of America 167,3090517,906 685,215
Saudi Arabia 5,000,00000 5,000,000
Spain 1,375,73300 1,375,733
Sweden 583,36300 583,363
Switzerland 1,160,67100 1,160,671
UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict 140,21300 140,213
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 191,82800 191,828
United States of America 67,370,00000 67,370,000
Jordan subtotal 181,062,8280517,931 181,580,759
Lebanon
Australia 2,265,86100 2,265,861
Belgium 1,279,86300 1,279,863
Canada 13,584,90600 13,584,906
Cyprus 23,69700 23,697
Czech Republic 232,45000 232,450
Estonia 48,02600 48,026
European Union 39,951,48200 39,951,482
France 2,585,77600 2,585,776
Germany 50,626,60100 50,626,601
Italy 1,742,16000 1,742,160
Japan 1,194,62500 1,194,625
Luxembourg 392,25900 392,259
Netherlands 8,079,06000 8,079,060
Norway 11,186,73300 11,186,733
PRIV DONORS UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 1,032,14200 1,032,142
Private donors in Austria 0080 80
Private donors in Italy 290,03201,469 291,501
Private donors in Kuwait 500,00000 500,000
Private donors in Qatar 200,00000 200,000
Private donors in Saudi Arabia 213,330025 213,355
Private donors in Singapore 132,70000 132,700
Private donors in Spain 7,96400 7,964
Private donors in Switzerland 50,05000 50,050
Private donors in the United States of America 10,37900 10,379
Republic of Korea 1,000,00000 1,000,000
Spain 1,801,68200 1,801,682
Sweden 583,36300 583,363
Switzerland 986,19300 986,193
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 6,812,07700 6,812,077
United States of America 136,700,00000 136,700,000
Lebanon subtotal 283,513,41001,574 283,514,984
Regional activities
Italy 126,82300 126,823
Regional activities subtotal 126,82300 126,823
Saudi Arabia Regional Office
Kuwait 0039,490 39,490
Saudi Arabia Regional Office subtotal 0039,490 39,490
Syrian Arab Republic
Canada 07,473,8420 7,473,842
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 01,226,8860 1,226,886
European Union 05,688,2820 5,688,282
Finland 01,067,2360 1,067,236
France 0542,8880 542,888
Germany 045,847,8520 45,847,852
Japan 07,825,0570 7,825,057
Liechtenstein 0101,6260 101,626
Lithuania 017,7730 17,773
Norway 011,234,4820 11,234,482
Private donors in Germany 00437,580 437,580
Private donors in Italy 0044,223 44,223
Private donors in Qatar 03,768,4380 3,768,438
Private donors in Sweden 0273,4170 273,417
Private donors in Switzerland 04,3750 4,375
Private donors in the Netherlands 02,085,4760 2,085,476
Private donors in the United States of America 09,110300,000 309,110
Republic of Korea 001,000,000 1,000,000
Russian Federation 0500,0000 500,000
Saudi Arabia 05,000,0000 5,000,000
Spain 0533,6180 533,618
Sweden 01,659,4760 1,659,476
Switzerland 0493,0970 493,097
UNICEF 0871,7550 871,755
United States of America 053,000,0000 53,000,000
Syrian Arab Republic subtotal 0149,224,6851,781,803 151,006,487
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office
Japan 01,069,8930 1,069,893
Private donors in Switzerland 010,1000 10,100
United States of America 09,000,0000 9,000,000
Syrian Regional Refugee Coordination Office subtotal 010,079,9930 10,079,993
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates 00126,000 126,000
United Arab Emirates subtotal 00126,000 126,000
Yemen
Belgium 01,422,0710 1,422,071
Bulgaria 0054,289 54,289
Canada 001,486,989 1,486,989
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 01,632,7130 1,632,713
European Union 004,479,283 4,479,283
Finland 001,742,160 1,742,160
France 00200,000 200,000
Holy See 005,000 5,000
Japan 5,719,2841,855,0910 7,574,375
Liechtenstein 0101,6260 101,626
PRIV DONORS UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 0192,0000 192,000
Private donors in Egypt 56,63200 56,632
Private donors in France 118,06400 118,064
Private donors in Germany 001,200,423 1,200,423
Private donors in India 00156 156
Private donors in Qatar 0250,000738,303 988,303
Private donors in Singapore 030,838157,482 188,320
Private donors in Switzerland 0059,307 59,307
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 0092 92
Private donors in the United States of America 152,025138,00075 290,100
Saudi Arabia 04,661,8800 4,661,880
Sweden 01,659,4760 1,659,476
Switzerland 00986,193 986,193
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1,076,4761,369,8070 2,446,283
United States of America 11,670,0008,000,0002,850,000 22,520,000
Yemen subtotal 18,792,48121,313,50113,959,753 54,065,735
Total 550,168,698286,690,607273,273,357 1,110,132,662
Note: