Funding for International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) operations In Syria and neighboring countries will reach the highest budget level in 15 years following the new budget extension. The new budget increase yields the total aid funding for the organization’s activities within Syria to 139 million Swiss francs (about 157 million US dollars). Most of the funding is used to help Syrians inside Syria, with the rest going to help refugees and host communities in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq.
However, this is just a small slice of the total funding needed for the Syrian Crisis, in 2014. Only 24% of the total funding requirements were met, including donor commitments and contributions towards Syria Humanitarian Assisance Response Plan (SHARP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (RRP), as well as contributions outside these frameworks (to UN agencies, NGOs or the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement) in Syria and neighboring countries, as reported to FTS and UNHCR. The figures show there are there is still a gap of $4.9 billion in funding requirements.
Efforts of ICRC and national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, and other international organizations to provide millions of people in Syria with food, water and other relief items, the situation in Syria remains dire, as the Syrian civil war entered its fourth year. The turmoil in Syria began with violent protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, in 2011. A year and a half later, ICRC declared it a civil war and the international community reacted after accusation of chemical weapons use against civilians. According to the latest United Nations estimates, more than 100,000 people have been killed as of July 2013. The death toll has not yet been updated by the United Nations since as it stated information can no longer be verified. Other estimates by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights report more than 150,000 deaths. The Observatory said the real toll was likely to be higher at around 220,000 deaths, according to Reuters. Syria Regional Refugee Response Inter-agency Information Sharing Portal estimates more than 2.7 million refugees registered.
The UN Security Council has repeatedly failed to pass strong resolutions against Syria because of the objections of key Assad allies Russia and China, despite the evidence that Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its people. The use of chemical and biological weapons, as well as the development, stockpiling and transfer of these weapons is prohibited under international law.
A recent report by Human Rights Watch reveals there is strong evidence that Syrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs embedded with cylinders of chlorine gas on three towns in Northern Syria in mid-April 2014. Syria joined the international treaty prohibiting chemical weapons in October 2013.