Impact of the Syrian conflict on the Neighbouring Region

The constant conflict and the ongoing civil war in Syria have made the refugee settlement mission an uphill task. The constant state of fear has given rise to security controls across the border, and the continuous displacement of people from Syria has increased vulnerability amongst refugees seeking asylum. The fact that migration and the refugee problem started in 2011 and have been going on for more than 12 months has only aggravated the overall scenario in the country.

The number of refugees has increased gradually and has now reached an alarming number of 235,000 according to UNHCR. In addition, many refugees remain unregistered and unprotected in the neighbouring regions simply because the countries hosting these refugees are also unable to provide adequate resources due to economic constraints.

About 85,000 refugees are living in Jordan. Jordan has now reached its maximum housing capacity and is facing a huge refugee crisis. However, the 14 % unemployment rate in Jordan only serves to create a fight for jobs and health services. Jordanian government fears that this may create a political tension on its territory.

Turkey, owning to its better financial standing, has been able to cope up quite positively with the 80,000 refugees in the country. The Turkish government is only able to give about 20 Turkish Lira for one week, which will eventually prove to be insufficient for the refugees. The costs incurred for hosting refugees is also beginning to affect Turkey, both at a social and political level. Many people from the host country are unsupportive of the government’s decision to host immigrants. This could also be one of the reasons why Turkey is building new settlements away from the border. The Turkish government is also trying a balancing act to ensure that no fights erupt among its own different ethnic groups over the Syrian war.

Iraq has tried to manage the inflow of immigrants into the country, fearing a backlash from al Qaeda who might use the refugee issue to settle in Iraq. Iraq has taken in only about 16,000 refugees so far, according to the United Nations. Lebanon, on the other hand, is hosting about 100,000 refugees and despite the recent conflict in the country; the number of people crossing over to Lebanon has not decreased. In fact, it has seen a steady increase over a time period.

Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq are struggling to hastily put together camps and settlements to house the influx of immigrants. The families themselves are in a constant state of agitation and basic necessities such as food, shelter and work are scarce. The host countries also fear social and economic breakdown and political crisis to follow suit. It has become an extremely challenging situation for all the world organisations and the neighbouring countries to assist and protect refugees from fleeing Syria.