UN Agencies ‘Broke and Failing’ in Face of Ever-Growing Refugee Crisis
Refugees from Syria in Lebanon given $13 A MONTH to spend on food. Even that may end because UN agencies simply aren’t being supported - and this is driving refugees to Europe.
“As the year goes by and the funding crisis gets deeper we are making more and more cuts. Mothers are telling us that they are being evicted from their houses and are now living in makeshift shelters in the field because their rent money is going on food. Think about young men and boys who are responsible for feeding their families. Reaching these desperate levels makes them prime targets for Isis.”
One Syrian refugee, Fatmeh, said of her two children in Lebanon: “When we can’t afford both medicine and food, I tie scarves around my boys’ bellies at night so they don’t wake up crying from stomach aches because they are hungry.”
Kassaby said the current funding system meant the WFP never had the funds it needed. “This is a hand-to-mouth operation: the minute money comes in it goes out. We have been operating with a funding deficit since the beginning of the year and right now we are short of $149m to help Syrians just through September and October.”
The UNHCR also says it is seeing evidence that refugees are making the dangerous journey into Europe because conditions in the Middle East are worsening.
On the Greek islands, where UNHCR frontline workers meet refugees as they arrive by boat, they cite new arrivals saying they were pushed into leaving Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey by a shortage of food or a desperate need for medical treatment.