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Statement from ExCom in support of the neighbouring countries of the Syrian refugee crisis

Last updated: 02.10.2013 // A high-level UNHCR meeting in Geneva on the Syrian humanitarian crisis wrapped up yesterday with agreement on urgent international action to reduce the immense economic and social impact on host countries neighbouring Syrian refugees.

The members of ExCom agreed on the following statement in support of the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees:

1 October 2013

High-Level Segment of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme on Solidarity and Burden-Sharing with Countries hosting Syrian Refugees

FINAL STATEMENT

We, Member States of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, on 30 September and 1 October 2013 on the occasion of a High-Level Segment on Solidarity and Burden-Sharing with Countries hosting Syrian Refugees, deliberated upon the following, in a solely humanitarian and non-political spirit:
We are deeply grateful for the detailed briefing by the Ministers of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey - neighboring States hosting Syrian refugees - on the impact on their countries and communities of more than 2 million refugees. We commend the exemplary generosity and hospitality of refugee-hosting countries and communities, and their significant investments in hosting Syrian refugees, as a temporary measure until the refugees voluntarily return to their country in safety and dignity. We recognize the profound impact on host communities, economies, societies, services, infrastructure, environment and security. At the same time we remain mindful of the needs of a huge
number of persons that had to leave their homes inside the Syrian Arab Republic.

We are alarmed at the gravity and complexity of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and recognize the urgent need for a settlement. We believe that without a comprehensive political solutionthe humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the whole Middle East region will continue to deteriorate and we commend efforts to convene the Geneva-2 International Conference. We reaffirm, therefore, our commitment to the principles of international solidarity and burden sharing, in supporting host countries and in responding to the assistance needs of refugees and the communities hosting them. We are grateful for the commitments expressed by Member States and the affirmations of support to the host countries and communities, UNHCR, other UN and relevant humanitarian actors working on behalf of Syrian refugees. We call upon all actors to closely coordinate with hosting governments and UNHCR so as to avoid duplication of efforts.

We call upon the international community to:
• Provide direct aid to governments;
• Provide financial and in-kind assistance to support refugee populations and the communities
hosting them, in coordination with the State concerned, to relieve pressure on host communities;
• Take into consideration the assessment by host countries, together with United Nations agencies
and intemational financial institutions, of the impact of refugees on country economies, societies,
services, infrastructure, environment and security, in order to provide the assistance required;
• Offer enhanced resettlement, humanitarian admission and family reunification opportunities in third countries; and
• Urge development actors to consider initiatives and projects directed to host communities to ease the economic and social costs of hosting Syrian refugees.

We express our gratitude to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for supporting the organization of the High-Level Segment on Solidarity and Burden-sharing with Countries hosting Syrian Refugees.


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