skip to main content
Donate

Still no shelter for Syrian refugees

19 April 2018

The war in Syria has created the largest displacement crisis in the world. Almost 12 million people have fled their homes since the war began seven years ago.

Refugee Camp Lebanon

Syrian refugees living in tents in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon near the Syrian border. Photo: David O'Hare

Over 6 million are displaced in Syria, with a further 5.5 million having fled the country.

Most of the refugees are living in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Turkey hosts over 2.9 million Syrians. There are more than 1 million Syrians in Lebanon and 660,000 in Jordan.

Iraq has also seen a growing number of Syrians arriving, hosting more than 241,000, while 122,000 are in Egypt.

Refugees in Europe and USA

About one million Syrians have requested asylum to Europe. Germany, with more than 300,000 applications, and Sweden with 100,000, are the EU’s top receiving countries.

Ireland still lags behind other European countries when it comes to the resettlement of Syrian refugees. Ireland has still not fulfilled its promise to take in 4,000 refugees. To date around 1,500 have arrived.

More than 11,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the UK under plans to resettle 20,000 by 2020.

USA accepted 15,479 Syrian refugees in 2016, dropping dramatically to 3,024 last year. So far this year, that number is just 11.

It is difficult for EU to maintain the level of sanctions necessary on Russia (already sanctions due to the Russian involvement in Ukraine). Once Britain leave EU, then the EU will only have one state on the UN Security Council (France) and this is a big concern when EU collectively is splintered and there is no united position on managing refugee number.

The Future of Syria conference, which takes place in Brussels next week, is an opportunity to address the funding gap for urgent humanitarian needs. It is also a vital chance to bolster the UN-led political peace process.

Trócaire welcomes the increased focus on solutions for refugees. A combination of resettlement, future safe return, education and access to labour market need to be explored.

A similar conference last year saw recognition that resettlement has a critical role to offer. However, the international community has failed to honour promises and has left the burden of care with neighbouring host countries.

At least 10 per cent of the Syrian refugees currently residing in neighbouring countries should be resettled elsewhere.

Trócaire further ask that donors should focus on funding support for Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Latest news and updates on Syria