CAIRO: The Egyptian government and the United Nations launched Tuesday a joint appeal to raise over U.S $380 million in funds to meet the needs of 6 million refugees in the region.
The Syrian refugees are estimated 300,000 person (136,254 of whom are registered with UNHCR) living in the most impacted areas in Egypt, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a joint statement.
“Syrian refugees have exhausted their savings since the beginning of the crisis, which is going into its 5th year. In addition, the government of Egypt has been also under pressure to cope with increasing economic pressures that the whole region has been going through,” said Ms. Elizabeth Tan, UNHCR Regional Representative in Cairo, in the statement.
The Egyptian-UN initiative comes under the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), which was launched by the United Nations and its partners Dec. 18, 2014 to meet the basic needs for over 18 million people in the region by raising U.S. $8.4 billion in funds.
The plan aims to meet all needs of education and the health services for the refugees in whole region; Egypt has “the highest number of enrolment rates of the Syrian refugee children with 39,314 school students and almost 14,000 university students registered this year” Ambassador Abdelrahman Salah, the Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and Middle Eastern Affairs said.
“In spite of the already strained Egyptian economy and infrastructure during the last three years, the Egyptian people and government took a decision since the beginning of the refugee crisis to provide our Syrian brothers full and free access to the same public services rendered to Egyptians: the same health care, education and higher education, which are massively subsidized and are often provided virtually free of charge, ” he added.
The WFP announced Dec. 1 that the program could suspend aid due to funding shortage, and asked for the help of donor countries and partners to assist in providing food vouchers for 1.7 million Syrian refuges in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.
However, it succeeded to raise $88.4 million as of Dec. 10, exceeding the required $64 million for December. The director of the WFP office in Cairo told The Cairo Post Wednesday that the value of the World Food Program (WFP) food aid offered monthly to the Syrian refugees “will definitely be cut because the fund is insufficient.”