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UNHCR and partners warn in Syria report of growing poverty, refugee needs

A report released today on the Syria refugee response finds that, while significant progress has been made in providing assistance, the number of Syrian refugees living in poverty continues to rise in host countries in the region and providing access to basic services remains a critical challenge.

The mid-year report of the 2016 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), released by UNHCR and more than 200 international and national actors, looks at progress so far this year in helping refugees and host communities in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt...

There was...promising news in the livelihoods sector, with work permits issued by Jordan to Syrians and a new regulation allowing Syrian refugee access to employment in Turkey. These positive initiatives, supported at February’s London Conference on Syria, need to be matched by the international community with continuing generous funding and responsibility sharing.

Despite this progress, the report warns of growing poverty. It says that in Lebanon, the average debt held by refugee households has increased over the first quarter of 2016 and the number of people living below the poverty line has risen to 70 per cent compared to 50 per cent in 2014. In Jordan, 90 per cent of registered Syrian refugees in urban areas are below the national poverty line, while over 67 per cent of families are living in debt. In Egypt, some 62,000 refugees are living in poverty.

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