March 5, 2013
The UN Refugee Agency
The massive exodus of refugees from Syria puts immense strain on the countries around it, in particular the nation of Turkey, oftentimes the point of stability in the Middle East. Turkey currently harbors somewhere between 185,000 to 200,000 refugees – numbers increase by the day. Turkey “alone says it has spent some $700 million setting up 17 refugee camps, with more under construction. But the country's disaster and relief management body, AFAD, said last week the actual cost of caring for the refugees was closer to $1.5 billion” (Burch, Reuters). However, as the numbers of refugee continue to increase – 400,000 alone in January (Burch)– Turkey’s infrastructure is sure to, and has begun to, find numerous areas in which they are failing to help the refugees adequately, and as the refugee population continues to grow to the largest in the world, these cracks in the infrastructure are sure to multiply. Eventually, these camps will begin to become even more underfunded then they already are. The content provided in this policy brief provides for five major recommendations, each calling for actions combatting various difficulties and problems stemming from the crisis. Chiefly among the recommendations is a increased cooperation your organization, the UNHCR, the Red Crescent, the major aid organization in Turkey currently, and secondly the Republic of Turkey, who the two organizations cooperation would benefit and ease the burden off of. Another problem to be addressed is the continued education of the Syrian refugee youth, combated by the expansion of a school system using the Syrian curriculum but also teaching Turkish for a better future within Turkey. Also, a shipment of emergency goods to better accommodate the refugees for Turkey’s climate, as well as water-system developments to better accommodate a long-term community. In addition, a call for the set-up of internationally protected zones inside Syria in order to better protect fleeing civilians, as advocated by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, with installation of better protection against cross-border rocket attacks perpetrated by Syria directed at the refugee camps. Altogether, the expected investment the UNHCR would be making would in fact be a matching total with what Turkey inputs into their efforts from here on, a self-monitoring way of making sure Turkey upholds it side of the bargain, yet still accommodating for the rising number of refugees.
Your organization, the U.N. refugee body, UNHCR, has already said that the Syrian refugee crisis will be the world’s largest by the end of the year if no solution is found to the conflict and the rate of refugees leaving Syria continues. At the current rate, the end of the year mark would top 3 million – the largest refugee population in the world: “The number of Syrian refugees, already past the million mark, could triple to 3m by the end of the year if no solution is found to the conflict and continues at the current rate, the Telegraph reported based on a statement of UNHCR” (Armunanto). When a single refugee population is larger than the vast majority of smaller nations in the world, the implications that their treatment and future can have on the world is enormous. Within this population lies the future of a nation, as well as the stability of the Middle East. Accounting for their needs and future difficulties could be a boon for the region, however neglecting the problem could lead to disastrous implication for the future not only of Syria, but its citizens as well. The nations around Syria, including Turkey, have had a hard time accommodating the refugees, as well as keeping up with demands. Turkey currently has devoted $600 million to the 17 refugee camps accommodating what the most...