Funding shortfall compounds Syrian refugee crisis

Additional $15bn needed yearly in humanitarian financing for 125 million people affected by wars and natural disasters.

    The United Nations has said that there is a shortfall of $15bn in global humanitarian financing as thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere struggle to cope with a lack of aid.

    A UN-appointed panel report on humanitarian aid, released on Sunday, says the world is spending about $25bn to provide life-saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters.

    However, the report says an additional $15bn is needed each year to reduce suffering and ensure that no one in need dies or has to live "without dignity" for a lack of money.

    Al Jazeera's Caroline Malone, reporting on Sunday from the Tal Abbas refugee camp in north Lebanon, said that the refugees were the ones suffering the most because of the lack of aid money.

    "They get some help but they say it's not enough and most can't find work to support themselves," she said.

    Malek, from Syria's Houla, who has six mouths to feed, including two mentally disabled daughters, said the UN was providing $108 a month, but he needs $100 to pay for nappies alone.

    "We came here thinking life would be better than living under siege, but honestly it isn't," he said.

    Khalid Kabara, a representative of UNHCR in northern Lebanon said: "We are trying as much as we can to respond to refugees' needs.

    "However, we are often stuck with a decision of choosing the most vulnerable of those who are already vulnerable, to receive assistance."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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