Referring to the 2013 Regional Response Plan concerning Syria, the United Nations refugee agency spoke of the issues threatening the action to alleviate the suffering of the thousands of refugees who have fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. The plan constitutes the UN’s largest short-term humanitarian appeal but it is just not meeting expectations. This is due to the lack of funding it is receiving for the $1.1 billion initiative. Currently the UNHCR has received only 18% of its funding which is worrisome. When the decision was taken to follow this initiative then it should have been agreed to on the basis that the funding would be secured. It is possible to lay the blame for this on the contributing countries but also it is possible to point the finger to those responsible for announcing the plan. It is irresponsible to make a proposal of this magnitude if it will not be followed through.
Providing assistance to the Syrian refugees is essential at this time as the conflict is causing mass suffering amongst the populace. In Jordan alone it is estimated that over 300,000 Syrian refugees have entered the country in the last 22 months. As an international community operating under the auspices of R2P we have an obligation to assist these people who have been driven out of their homes for fear of their lives. It would be easy to ignore the plight of civilians in a war-torn country and listen to the nationalist voices within our own countries that argue it is not our business but if we all did that then we could end up sentencing others to cope with violations of their human rights and moving away from the idea of an international community and back to isolationism and a focus on sovereignty.
I strongly believe that the international community should fulfil the commitment it made and support the Regional Response Plan fully and provide the monetary assistance that was agreed upon. By doing so we will be able to provide the necessary support for the thousands of civilians who have become refugees in nations that are not their own and who have been driven out of their homes by a conflict they have no control over.