Given the strains that the main hosting countries are under, there is a risk that without sufficient support from the international community they will no longer be willing or able to continue to give adequate protection and assistance to Syrian refugees. Countries with the means to do so, including Europe, must provide sufficient funding to deal with the refugee crisis.
Borders for Syrian refugees must be kept open
(Brussels, 31 October 2013) International support is needed to help Jordan end border restrictions on refugees fleeing the armed conflict in Syria, said Amnesty International. According to a new report published today by the organisation, hundreds fleeing to Jordan and other neighbouring countries are being turned back at borders.
The report, Growing restrictions, tough conditions: The plight of those fleeing Syria to Jordan, highlights the increasing difficulties faced by people who are trying to escape the conflict in Syria to Jordan, as well as other countries. Scores of refugees have also been forcibly deported back to Syria. In many cases those allowed to stay struggle to access basic services. The Syria Regional Response Plan, the largest UN humanitarian appeal launched in June 2013, remains severely underfunded.
“Given the strains that the main hosting countries are under, there is a risk that without sufficient support from the international community they will no longer be willing or able to continue to give adequate protection and assistance to Syrian refugees,” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “Countries with the means to do so, including Europe, must provide sufficient funding to deal with the refugee crisis.”
More than two million refugees have fled Syria sparking the worst humanitarian crisis of this decade. Most have found refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, and at least a further 4.25 million are displaced inside Syria.
Only about 50,000 Syrian refugees have applied for asylum in the EU since the beginning of the crisis while 16 European countries have made pledges for humanitarian admission or resettlement of about 8,000 Syrian refugees. However, as neighbouring countries make it more difficult for refugees from Syria to access their territory and stay there, increasing numbers are seeking refuge in Europe. Many risk their life trying to cross the border from Turkey to Greece, or attempting the sea crossing to Italy.
“In addition to expanding resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes, Europe must provide safe routes for Syrian refugees to reach Europe. Borders must be open for them in Europe as well as in the neighouring countries,” added Beger.
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