"The Syria crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them”.
The Syrian Arab Republic is a country situated in Western Asia. Syrian territory borders Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest, but the government's control now extends to approximately 30–40% of the state area and less than 60% of the population.
In the awake of the Arab Spring uprisings in countries like Libya, Bahrain, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen inspire protest in Syria, followed by the local army intervention. Anti-government demonstrations began in March of 2011, as a part of the Arab Spring. But the peaceful protests quickly escalated after the government's violent crackdown, and rebels began fighting back against the regime.
By July 2011, army defectors had loosely organized the free Syrian Army and many civilian Syrians took up arms to join the opposition. Divisions between secular and Islamist fighters, and between ethnic groups, continue to complicate the politics of the conflict.
As Syria invades into civil war, the segregation among the government, rebel groups, Islamic extremists, ethnic groups are resulted to shifting of alliances and territories. In the very initial stages the Syrian refugees cross into Turkey and Lebanon, Jordon resulted into giving more fostering to search a safe and protected shelter were most of them consists from the Arabs and Bedouins group. In 2012 people from Syria started migrating by sea to the European Union, countries like, Italy, Egypt, Iran and Iraq.
Displaced refugees relocate to less troubled parts of the country. Refugees fled in desperation to escape violence, chaos, and shortages of food, medicine, and other necessities. It became harder for people to find a safe place to settle because 3,000-6,000 refugees leave Syria every day and refugee centers fill to capacity.
Sweden becomes the first EU country and later Argentina and Brazil, Germany to grant permanent residency to all asylum seekers and right to family reunification. In 2014, the deteriorating humanitarian situation in neighboring Iraq prompts an influx of Iraqi refugees into north-eastern Syria. The UN estimates 6.5 million people have been displaced within Syria, while more than 3 million had fled to countries.
How many refugees are there?
• Almost 5 million Syrians have registered or are awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is leading the regional emergency response.
• Every year of the conflict has seen an exponential growth in refugees. In 2012, there were 100,000 refugees. By April 2013, there were 800,000. That doubled to 1.6 million in less than four months.
• There are now 4.8 million Syrians scattered throughout the region, making them the world's largest refugee population under the United Nations' mandate. It's the worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.
Status of the refugees
• The majority of refugees live outside camps. Jordan’s Za'atari, the first official refugee camp that opened in July 2012, gets the most news coverage because it is the destination for newly-arrived refugees. It is also the most concentrated settlement of refugees: Approximately 79,000 Syrians live in Za'atari, making it one of the country’s largest cities.
• The formerly barren desert is crowded with acres of white tents, makeshift shops line a “main street” and sports fields and schools are available for children.
• A new camp, Azraq, opened in April 2014, carefully designed to provide a sense of community and security, with steel caravans instead of tents, a camp supermarket, and organized "streets" and "villages." Because Jordan’s camps are run by the government and the U.N. with many partner organizations coordinating services they offer more structure and support. But many families feel trapped, crowded, and even farther from any sense of home, so they seek shelter in nearby towns.
• Iraq has set up a few camps to house the influx of refugees who arrived in 2013, but the majority of families are living in urban areas. And in Lebanon, the government has no official camps for refugees, so families establish makeshift camps or find shelter in derelict, abandoned buildings. In Turkey, the majority of refugees are trying to survive and find work, despite the language barrier, in urban communities.
• The lack of clean water and sanitation in crowded, makeshift settlements is an urgent concern. Diseases like cholera and polio can easily spread even more life-threatening without enough medical services. In some areas with the largest refugee populations, water shortages have reached emergency levels; the supply is as low as 30 liters per person per day one-tenth of what the average American uses.
• The young refugees face an uncertain future. Some schools have been able to divide the school day into two shifts and make room for more Syrian students. But there is simply not enough space for all the children, and many families cannot afford the transportation to get their kids to school.
Implications of the refugees in near future:
• Food Insecurity and the lack of the fresh edible product and food.
• Unemployment and indigenous inhabitants
• Basic school and education lacking after living the motherland
• Difficulty in providing shelter and basic healthcare facilities
• Law and order complications in target countries.
• As an immediate solution, there should be a planned and effective burden sharing among the European countries based on the quota system. The global powers can provide enough financial and other assistance to Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan which are hosting a substantial number of Syrian refugees.
• Most importantly, to hit at the root of the crisis by restoring peace and recreating livelihood opportunities in the conflict hit countries like Syria.
The powerful nations must contribute positively to promote democracy and stabilize political turmoil in this war-hit country.
• The crisis is only a crisis because of the European response to it. EU countries have spent all year debating and procrastinating about an appropriate solution to Europe’s biggest refugee movement since the World War II.
• And lastly, to put things in perspective: Europe may be quailing at the numbers trying to get in, but it is as nothing compared to the numbers that Syria’s neighbours have been dealing with.
The ongoing crisis in Syria is a grim remainder of the fact that majority communities across the world still deprived of essentials due to chronic problems like hunger, poverty, terrorism, mal administration, sectarian violence, etc. Though we came a long way in nurturing peace, security and socio-economic development, millions of people still struggle for basic necessities of life.
It is high time the world leaders should come together and fix the problem of migration once for all to ensure timely achievement of recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals.