Thursday, September 17, 2015

A new life in this place

ABU DHABI - In response to the events in Syria since 2011, the Government of the United Arab Emirates has taken action on various levels in order to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian population and to cater for Syrian refugees in Syria and abroad

These measures have included, amongst others, the following:

:: Syrians in the UAE:

Since the onset of the crisis in 2011, the UAE Government has welcomed more than 101,364 Syrian nationals from various religious sects and all segments of Syrian society, and
has extended residency permits to them in the UAE.

In total, there are now close to 242,324 Syrian residents in the UAE.

In recognition of the difficult situation in Syria, the UAE Government has shown great sympathy and flexibility in allowing tens of thousands of Syrian nationals with expired visas or
travel documents to adjust their status, enabling them to remain in the UAE.

The number of new and registered Syrian students enrolled in UAE schools since the beginning of the crisis has reached 17,378, while there are also 6,078 Syrian new investors in
the UAE.

UAE Support for the Syrian People:

Since the onset of the crisis, the UAE has provided over AED4 billion (around USD 1.1 billion) in support for the Syrian people.

This includes a total of USD 581.5 million in humanitarian assistance, as well as over USD 420 million to combat Daesh and other extremist groups, deal with the consequences of
displacement, and provide humanitarian support and relief.

UAE humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees has been distributed as followed:

o USD 167.8 million for food aid
o USD 154.8 million for multi-sector aid
o USD 88.1 million for shelter and non-food items
o USD 78 million for the provision of health services and support
o USD 63.7 million for co-ordination and support services
o USD 23 million for water and sanitation
o USD 4.2 million for education
o USD 1.9 million for other expenses

As part of its funding, the UAE has also allocated and disbursed USD 38 million to the World Food Program and UNICEF since January 2014. This funding benefited an array of projects, including food security for internally displaced Syrians and special nutrition for children and pregnant woman.

The UAE also allocated and disbursed USD 6 million to OCHA and UNHCR to support coordination efforts by the UN staff in a number of refugee camps, and has allocated almost
USD 2 million to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), for Syrian refugee projects in Northern Iraq.

Highlights of UAE-funded Projects:

The Mrajib Al Fhood camp in Jordan was opened in March 2013. The camp houses 6,437 Syrian refugees and now has a total capacity of 10,000. Besides the provision of shelter,
food, water and other basic services, the UAE is also collaborating with the Governments of the United Kingdom and Norway to provide education and training to enable refugee
children with a way to continue their education. To date, the UAE has provided USD 53.5 million to fund the camp and cover its day-to-day running costs.

Another special UAE project in Jordan is the Emirati-Jordanian Field Hospital in Al Mafraq, 80 kilometers north of the capital Amman, and close to the Syrian border. Established with the help of the Jordanian authorities and the Dar Al Salam and Al Aqleh hospitals, the field hospital has been operational since late August 2012. It has 12 units and 22 beds, with facilities including two operating theatres and pediatric, cardiology, laboratory and pharmacy units. The hospital has 56 staff, including doctors, nurses and other medical personnel and administrative and logistics staff. A number of volunteers from the UAE have also provided their services to the hospital. By August 2015, the hospital has provided more than 482,801 treatments.

By early September 2015, relief aid from the UAE Red Crescent and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation to refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan, both from Syria and from other parts of Iraq, had reached around 1 million refugees. This includes both people in refugee camps and people sheltered in temporary accommodations like schools, mosques and churches.

Other UAE Contributions:

The UAE, together with Germany and the US, established the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF) in 2013 whose goal is to support post-crisis reconstruction efforts. The UAE has provided USD 15 million to the SRTF.

The UAE is a co-lead of the Friends of Syria Early Economic Recovery Working Group and a co-lead of the Working Group on Stabilisation of the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh.

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