GENEVA / SYRIA REFUGEES APPEAL

11-Dec-2018 00:02:11
Some 5.6 million Syrians need help outside the war-torn country and one million of them are children, UN agencies and partners said on Tuesday, in an appeal for $5.5 billion. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / SYRIA REFUGEES APPEAL
TRT: 2:11
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 DECEMBER 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations, sunny.
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Amin Awad, Director of the Middle East and North Africa and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“We are appealing this year for $5.5 billion dollars, that is to support neighbouring countries but also to support operations assisting refugees in the areas of health, water, sanitation and food, education, psycho-social support, community services and so on and so forth.”
3. Med shot, journalists.
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Amin Awad, Director of the Middle East and North Africa and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Now also remember we will have a big number of children returning. There are now one million refugee children who are born in exile during the last eight years in the neighbouring countries alone.”
5. Med shot, journalism students.
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Amin Awad, Director of the Middle East and North Africa and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“They have been borrowing money, they are indebted and a lot of them are living below the poverty line. Seventy to 80 per cent of the, they, are living below the poverty line in their host communities or countries.”
7. Close up, journalist’s hand holding press release.
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Samuel Rizk, Senior Regional Manager, UN Development Programme (UNDP):
“These countries have been living under significant strains and have been super generous to all of the refugees that have been there, but it’s also important for these countries to think not only about how they can support in the present, but also in the future.”
9. Med shot: journalists.
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Amin Awad, Director of the Middle East and North Africa and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“A lot of them are currently going to the governorate of Daraa, there are some them going to the governorate of Damascus, which is huge. Many of them are going to some areas in Homs, we expect for sure people who are from Idlib, that will take time. Other places that are experiencing some flashes of fighting and there are still some areas that are under non-Government-controlled areas; some opposition, some other armed groups.”
11. Med shot, podium.
12. Close up, journalist with hearing device.
13. Close up, journalist’s hand taking notes.
STORYLINE
Some 5.6 million Syrians need help outside the war-torn country and one million of them are children, UN agencies and partners said on Tuesday, in an appeal for $5.5 billion.

Since conflict erupted in Syria in 2011, host communities in neighbouring countries have supported those who have fled, despite the significant impact on their own development, UNHCR’s Amin Awad, Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq, told journalists in Geneva.

Awad said “we are appealing this year for $5.5 billion, that is to support neighbouring countries, but also to support operations assisting refugees in the areas of health, water, sanitation and food, education, psycho-social support, community services and so on and so forth.”

In total, 3.9 million people from host communities in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq are to benefit from the appeal.

“These countries have been living under significant strains and have been super generous to all of the refugees that have been there, but it’s also important for these countries to think not only about how they can support in the present, but also in the future,” said UN Development Programme’s Samuel Rizk, Senior Regional Manager.

Following the 2015 launch of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), around $12 billion in aid has been distributed in the five main host countries, via more than 270 humanitarian and development partners. Help is also required inside Syria, with up to 250,000 people expected to return there next year.

So far this year, around 28,000 people have gone home, Awad said, noting that returnees are provided with winter shelter kits, household items and additional help from 100 community centres in operation inside Syria.

“A lot of them are currently going to the governorate of Daraa, there are some them going to the governorate of Damascus, which is huge,” the UNHCR official noted. “Many of them are going to some areas in Homs, we expect for sure people who are from Idlib, that will take time. Other places that are experiencing some flashes of fighting and there are still some areas that are under non-Government-controlled areas; some opposition, some other armed groups.”

Insisting that all returns should be “voluntary and people should be … returned in safety and dignity”, the UNHCR official explained that the agency is working with the Government of Syria to make it easier for people to return, by providing basic services including health, education and housing.
The UNHCR official highlighted that a significant number of youngsters need help, too: “Remember we will have a big number of children returning (to Syria),” he said. “There are now one million refugee children who are born in exile during the last eight years in the neighbouring countries alone.”

It is critical that the international community continues to recognize the plight of Syrian refugees, Awad insisted, noting that many families have resorted to early marriage and child labour to survive while in exile.

“They have been borrowing money, they are indebted and a lot of them are living below the poverty line,” he said. “Seventy to 80 per cent …are living below the poverty line in their host communities or countries.”

In 2019, the aid funding will be used to helping to boost protection for refugees and get more children into education. In addition, basic services will be enhanced and there will be a focus on providing economic opportunities - especially for women – at a local and national level.
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