Unrest threatens humanitarian efforts in the Middle East


The Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland said in a statement on Wednesday, January 08, another confrontation among international and regional powers in the Middle East would be deadly for aid lifelines already on the brink of collapse.

“Tens of millions of people across the Middle East need humanitarian assistance. Most of them are already devastated or displaced by conflict,” Egeland said.

It is estimated that 24 million war-affected Yemenis and 12 million Syrians displaced within the region are extremely vulnerable to any escalation in conflict, sanctions or restrictions on movement.

Also among the vulnerable groups are the over 6 million needy Iraqis and 2 million in need of aid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Sanctions have already severely affected humanitarian work for some of the 3 million Afghan refugees living in Iran, while for a large parts of 2018-19 not a single international bank was able to transmit Western donor money to aid Afghan refugee communities in eastern Iran and natural disaster victims elsewhere in the country.

“It is already too difficult and dangerous for our field relief workers to serve vulnerable communities in the Middle East. On behalf of the millions in need that have nothing to do with the political conflict, we urge de-escalation of this confrontation and direct talks among diplomats to find solutions. Do not make a difficult situation impossible, “ended Egeland. (Source: Relief Web)