Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - MERGE - Migration and the Middle East


by Y. Emre Küçükkaya

  • At the sixth annual Brussels conference, donors pledged $4.3bn for 2023 in support of Syria and neighboring countries hosting millions of Syrian refugees, while the UN had asked for $10.5bn for 2022.
  • As many as 5.5 million Syrians, including mothers and children aged 0-59 months, are estimated to need direct nutrition assistance in 2022-2023. The majority of these Syrians live in northeast Syria, says the World Health Organization. According to the UN World Food Programme, 86 percent of the 95,000 Syrian refugees living in Iraqi camps are vulnerable to food insecurity.
  • International Displacement Monitoring Centre data shows refugee numbers in North Africa and the Middle East have fallen to their lowest levels in over a decade as conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria have deescalated. Meanwhile, the Euro-Med Monitor's team and other human rights agencies have reported that Asian, African, and Middle Eastern refugees are treated quite differently at European borders than Ukrainian asylum seekers.
  • Turkish President Erdogan urges Syrian refugees to return voluntarily to allegedly "safe" areas under Turkish control in Syria. Turkish politicians are seeking to take advantage of tensions over the country's millions of refugees. In contrast with the estimate of 500,000 returnees given by the Turkish Interior Ministry in March this year, the UN says that around 81.000 returned Syrians from Turkey have been verified since 2019. Syria's refugees must be assured that they will not be persecuted upon returning home.