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:
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The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.
Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Middle East
People of Concern - 2021 [projected][["Refugees",1800394],["Asylum-seekers",141055],["IDPs",11011618],["Returned IDPs",1734000],["Returned refugees",250000],["Stateless",369745],["Others of concern",51810]]
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Operational environmentAs the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic enters its tenth year, it is expected to continue to drive the largest displacement crisis worldwide. As of October 2020, more than 6.7 million Syrians remain internally displaced and nearly 5.6 million Syrian r efugees are registered in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
The humanitarian needs in Syria remain acute, with the COVID-19 pandemic compounding a pre-existing economic crisis. Humanitarian access continues to be a challenge, and safety and protection risks remain a major concern in some areas, particularly in the north-west, where more than half of the civilian population of 4 million is displaced. COVID-19-related restrictions in neighbouring host countries have also led to economic hardships, adversely affecting host communities and exacerbating the vulnerability of the 5.6 million Syrian refugees in the region, more than half of whom live in poverty.
Between January 2016 and July 2020, UNHCR recorded the return of more than 250,500 Syrian refugees from neighbouring countries. Between January and July 2020, UNHCR verified the return of 21,600 Syrian refugees, compared with nearly 95,000 returns in 2019. This relative decline in returns can be attributed to COVID-19-related border closures in March 2020. As restrictions are gradually being eased, returns to Syria are resuming and are expected to continue in 2021.
In 2021, UNHCR will continue delivering humanitarian assistance in north-west Syria as part of the UN cross-border operation based in Gaziantep, Turkey. In 2020, UNHCR has delivered across the border core relief items and shelter materials to assist over 820,000 individuals.
In the context of the Syria situation in 2021, UNHCR will continue providing emergency core relief items and shelter assistance. The Office will also expand its multisectoral assistance, including access to safety, civil documentation and community-based protection. UNHCR will maintain its large-scale cash assistance programme for the most vulnerable Syrian refugees, while continuing to support livelihood opportunities. In the five main countries hosting Syrian refugees, UNHCR will continue to co-lead the Regional Refugee Response Plan, or 3RP, along with UNDP, coordinating the work of more than 270 partners.
In Iraq, some 1.3 million IDPs and more than 4.7 million IDP returnees will remain in need of assistance, as many of them continue to face protection risks, insecurity, and limited access to basic services and livelihoods. At the same time, displaced and returnee families will continue grappling with destroyed properties and infrastructure, the threat of explosive remnants of war, and challenging socio-economic conditions worsened by the pandemic. It is therefore likely that protracted and secondary displacement will persist in the short and medium terms, particularly since the Government announced a series of sudden IDP camp closures in late 2020, which will require UNHCR to focus on durable solutions in return areas and other support in areas of displacement. Meanwhile, 279,000 Iraqi refugees and asylum-seekers are expected to remain registered with UNHCR in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey, the majority of whom are women and children.
In 2021, UNHCR efforts in Iraq will focus on a gradual transition from humanitarian assistance to development programming by promoting people of concern’s inclusion in national systems, expanding access to national services and livelihood opportunities, while identifying durable solutions for those most in need. To respond to COVID-19-related socioeconomic needs, UNHCR will provide additional cash assistance and livelihoods support.
Yemen continues to be the worst humanitarian crisis worldwide, as more than 80% of the population (more than 24 million people) depend on humanitarian assistance to survive. Five years into the conflict, 3.7 million Yemenis have been recorded displaced, with nearly 27,000 families experiencing displacement at least once during 2020 due to ongoing fighting, heavy rain and floods, and dire socio-economic conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the already fragile protection space for the 283,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, and despite rising needs, durable solutions remain limited. In 2021, the protection space is expected to shrink and displacement is likely to persist as peace agreements continue to fail and new frontlines emerge.
In 2021, UNHCR will focus on delivering humanitarian assistance across Yemen to IDPs, IDP returnees and affected host communities. While undertaking a phased review of the refugee population in Yemen, UNHCR will also work on improving the protection space for refugees and asylum-seekers through community-based protection strategies and working with local authorities and partners. UNHCR will continue to lead the protection, shelter, non-food item and camp coordination and camp management clusters, as well as co-lead the Refugee and Migrant Multi-Sector Response.
Strategy for response and implementationIn the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, UNHCR will continue its resource mobilization efforts in 2021, engaging with both public and private entities. UNHCR will also continue collaborating with national and regional bodies to raise awareness on humanitarian and displacement issues and provide support to the people of concern.
2021 Budget for Middle East | USD
|Other operations in the Middle East||0||0||0||18,000,000||18,000,000|
|Saudi Arabia Multi-Country Office||11,327,189||135,664||0||0||11,462,853|
|Syrian Arab Republic||46,968,149||198,640||317,833,049||247,382,855||612,382,693|
2021 Voluntary Contributions to Middle East | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|Private donors in Saudi Arabia||23,300||0||0||23,300|
|Private donors in Switzerland||0||0||136,026||136,026|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||11,585,366||0||0||11,585,366|
|Private donors in Saudi Arabia||44,750||0||0||44,750|
|Syrian Arab Republic|
|Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan||0||0||1,752,288||1,752,288|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||58,754||58,754|
|Private donors in Italy||0||0||59,737||59,737|
|Syrian Arab Republic subtotal||1,728,124||0||7,332,058||9,060,182|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||8,226||8,226|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||154,264||0||0||154,264|