Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Syria Timeline

The UNHCR has provided a portal for tracking when refugees have left Syria and where they have gone.  The display of data in the graph below is in no way endorsed by the UNHCR, but was aggregated from their portal

As seen in a previous post, neighboring countries and specifically Lebanon has played a significant role in the process of relocating refugees.  The flow of people to these countries over time is remarkable considering that the demographics of most refugees entering neighboring countries, over 50% of the refugees are under the age of 18 (validity of this number also available at the UNHCR portal).  The chart below is interactive, but set to a setting that shows the growth over time of refugees from Syria moving to other countries.  You may notice the specific months where this spikes as well.  The data from the portal began in 2011 for the countries being tracked, and at that point some countries were already facilitating camps or other accommodations for Syrian refugees.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lebanon shouldering Syria

The crisis that is Syria has had an incredible regional affect geopolitically, economically, and has required a significant response in humanitarian aid.  As the mass evacuation has occurred, surrounding countries are found hosting thousands of people, many of them children.  The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) has setup an inter-agency portal for tracking where refugees are going in the region.  Keep in mind, these people they are tracking are those that have registered with the UN.  It's safe to assume for one reason or another that many people in fact do not register.  Those that have registered and the approximate number of those that haven't total the "Total Persons of Concern" figure that the UNHCR puts out.  Below is a map that shows the "Total Persons of Concern" number with the number of persons indicated by the circle size in each city they are located.

You may notice that Turkey hosts the most refugees in one location, albeit there are many different camps in Turkey but that is not portrayed on the UNHCR website.  The camps hosting the refugees vary in their funding, some from the UN and some from the country itself.  Refugees in Lebanon seem to be hosted in four different cities as indicated by the UNHCR.  Lebanon also hosts the most Syrian refugees out of any country.

A couple remarkable things about the Lebanon's role with Syrian refugees.  First, the country itself has just over 4 million people.  Again, according to the numbers retrieved from UNHCR, there are about 1 million Syrian refugees (persons of concern) living in Lebanon.  That means 1 in 4 people in Lebanon are Syrian refugees.  Let's look at these numbers a different way and consider comparable US cities (just so we can have a comparison to understand the gravity of these numbers).

Keep in mind all the different needs for these populations in the US.  Then imagine facilitating these needs in refugee camps...simply staggering.