Donors’ Support to Syrian Refugees in Egypt and the Neighboring Countries
Over the last 5 years, the war in Syria has sparked widespread violence against the civilian population and displacement on a scale never seen before in the Middle East. Humanitarian needs are increasing, population displacement continues, and there is no prospect of a rapid resolution to the conflict. An entire generation of children has been witness to war and the associated violence, with no access to the basic services that they need such as healthcare, education, psychosocial care, etc. Vulnerable families are falling into extreme poverty, while their host communities’ resources are also limited. By the end of 2015, the Syrian regional refugee population will reach up to 4.27 million. Refugees are considered vulnerable by virtue of the lack of protection issues and difficulties they have with pursuing sustainable livelihoods. In addition to being subject to discrimination, racism and xenophobia.
In such humanitarian emergencies Development Aid is a major issue towards resilience and survival. However, due to the lack of coordinated strategies and inter-agency collaboration, the maximum return of development aid is not achieved. If there had been more coordination, the combined resources and coordinated strategies could have had a better impact and greater outreach for those most in need. Bearing in mind that more than half of these refugees are children, a coordinated effort is particularly important in order to prevent the rise of another lost generation. Here is a summary of who is doing what in Egypt and the MENA region including their approaches and methodologies that help support Syrian refugees both economically and socially.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) has just announced for three Call for Concept Notes for qualified NGOs to enter into Project Partnership Agreements for three development tracks as follows 1) Livelihood support to people of concern to UNHCR Egypt and it will include the adoption of the Poverty Graduation Model including approaches and methodologies such as Community Technology Access (CTA) and inclusive value chain in the artisan sector. 2) Community Empowerment of Persons of Concern and it will include the delivery of several training courses as well as the implementation of community development projects and initiatives; and 3) The conduct of Vulnerability Assessment for People of Concept to UNCHR Egypt. Click here to learn more and download the three UNHCR call for concept notes
The idea behind establishing an EU Trust Fund is to pool resources into one single and flexible mechanism to better respond to the growing needs of refugees and the countries hosting them. The initial funding of €40 million should have benefited 400,000 Syrians. Further substantial contributions from the EU budget are expected before the end of 2015, when a second round of response programs is likely to be expected to be adopted, Watch Tracker for Coming Up Grants and Tenders issued by MADAD EU Trust Fund. MADAD Trust Fund mainly targets youth and children. It emphasizes increased access to safe spaces in host communities for Syrian children and adolescents, especially girls, to counter the risk of sexual and gender based violence. MADAD 1st Phase response included the following activities and cover countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq:
- Support Syrian refugees in life skills education, learning, supplying formal educational materials ; school supplies and psychosocial support;
- Provision of scholarships for higher and further education for young Syrians; and
- Sustain livelihoods by increasing short, medium and long-term economic opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities.
€5 Million Program “Syrian refugees and host communities 2015” supports the delivery of community service projects serving both refugees and their host country population. AFD project concentrates on Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. The project aims at alleviating the difficulties faced by a number of vulnerable groups, first and foremost women, children/teenagers, older people and people with disabilities. Young people are particularly at risk of exposure to the crisis. Please check AFD Call for Concept Notes
UN-Women is providing Gender Based Violence Training for Syrian Refugees and Egyptians from communities hosting Syrian Refugees. This is a regional project aimed at economically empowering and addressing violence against Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and vulnerable women in Syria.
UNICEF together with the government of Egypt and civil society partners, provide psychosocial support to Syrian refugee children to help them overcome the traumas they are experiencing after the violence they have witnessed. UNICEF assists schools and supports primary health centers to provide education and health services to Syrian children in 10 Egyptian governorates
The World Food Programme (WFP) provides food assistance to over 110,000 Syrian refugees including 3,500 Palestinians from Syria, through its food vouchers. By helping cover the basic daily nutritional needs of Syrian refugees in Egypt, WFP helps ease the burden on them and their host community. Since the start of the emergency program in February 2013, WFP has injected more than LE150 million (US$22 million) into the Egyptian economy through food vouchers given out to Syrian refugees.
UNFPA Egypt, focuses on enhancing governmental services to adapt to the influx of Syrian refugees through a resilience-based approach. UNFPA’s approach involves host communities’ citizens as well in order to strengthen the social cohesion between both locals and Syrians thus reducing /pre-empting any tensions. UNFPA has
- Carried out service mapping of Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities serving Syrian communities. Since the Egyptian government granted Syrians free access to those services, the mapping allowed for enhancing the delivery of quality Sexual and Reproductive Health services through strengthening national structures. This support included training of medical units’ staff, the provision of medical care and supplying post-exposure kits to Sexual and Gender Based-Violence (SGBV) survivors.
- Implemented integrated community outreach activities by providing training to community health workers; conducting health awareness campaigns and providing general livelihood training by supporting and maintaining the operation of 5 Women Safe Spaces targeting mainly women and young girls. These safe spaces are managed by implementing partners such ad Care Egypt, Youth and Population Development NGO in Alexandria etc.
“Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Prevention, Protection and Response for Syrian Refugees in Egypt” Project, implemented in Greater Cairo, Care Egypt applies a holistic approach utilizing the Safe Space Model. The approach include
- Awareness raising on Child Abuse, Sexual and Gender Based-Violence (SGBV) on how they can protect themselves and what to do if they face abuse including defending and reporting against such abuse and violence
- Support services for survivors who experienced any types of violence, exploitation and abuse by providing them with psychological support and counseling including the utilization of Support Groups to help mitigate the effects of trauma, distress and the consequences of SGBV
Save the Children is implementing FORSA III project which provides livelihood entrepreneurship training and essential work skills for both refugees, mainly Africans, and vulnerable Egyptians. The project is
- Placing 140 youth in apprenticeship and job opportunities with local businesses that are safe and regular
- Supporting 30 vulnerable refugees, 18-35 years old, in starting their businesses through entrepreneurial training and seed capital
Save the Children emphasizes that training curricula are prepared in line with global curricula benchmarks that will mitigate jobs drop-out by increasing their behavioral competency and providing training knowledge that is recent, relevant and useful in order to meet employer’s requirements and match the current market needs. Training delivery is carried out by trainers from the refugee community themselves who have completed a Training of Trainers Course and know how to deliver the training. Save the Children focuses on child protection and is therefore trying to create and / or improve the performance of community-based Child Protection Committees to support refugee children. If successful, these communities have the potential to be of great added value to what most refugees need, namely safety, security and protection.
Plan Egypt focuses on education, giving Syrian children the opportunity to catch up with the months of school they missed through establishing Community Schools with a new special curriculum and activities. To encourage the families to send children to school, Plan Egypt supports Syrian refugees with financial and non-financial support including school kits. Plan also offers psychosocial support, encourages livelihood activities and promotes socialization among Syrians and Egyptians.
FARD Foundation manages the establishment of community schools that are refugee-sensitive to address the high non-attendance rates in the Egyptian National Schools. Community Schools provide the National Curriculum. Through Partnership with Save the Children International (SCI), these schools have been provided with furniture, students’ transportation expenses and schools’ rental fees have been covered. FARD Foundation is the project implementer and managed all of the school’s activities and paid all of the teaching staff’s monthly salaries. Certainly these community schools are still in need of support in order to cover operational costs and expand their outreach to the vulnerable children among the refugee community.