Some 5.6 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries since war broke out seven years ago. This includes Jordan, which is home to 657,000 Syrian refugees. And now, some of the most vulnerable among them are about to have one of their last lifelines cut off.
The UN Refugee Agency warns that it is facing a serious funding shortfall for a program that provides a monthly cash allowance to 30,000 families, or about 180,000 people. These families receive $113 per month and are selected because they face some additional hardships — about one third of these families have a member living with a disability, for example.
That program helps these families pay rent, afford medicines and buy food. And now, it is running out of money. UNHCR said yesterday that it needs $40 million to keep this program operational in Jordan through the end of the year. If funding is not received by the end of June, it will be forced to scale back this assistance. Across the region as a whole, UNHCR says “$116 million is urgently needed to avoid cutting off assistance to 87,000 families.”
The pressures on this program are part of wider funding challenges, now seven years into this regional crisis. But when you boil it down, these statistics are the compounded experiences of individuals. And these funding shortfalls are the international community turning their backs on these individuals.