Kuwait. United Nations officials today demanded Arab states in the Gulf region assist Syrian refugees indicating they saw no sign the crisis would end soon. UNHCR Deputy Commissioner Kelly Clements said, “It means basically that we haven’t seen a political solution to make it possible for people to go home safely and in dignity and voluntarily.”
Clements is in Kuwait to sign an agreement for $10 million dollars in aid for Syrian refugees currently in Iraq. She further reflected that the fact the number of Syrian refugees who have fled conflict in their own nation has now passed the 5 million mark “For us at UNHCR, we don’t celebrate these milestones. We in fact try not to bring a lot of attention to it because it is not a good story,” Clements told reporters.
Speaking after she signed the aid agreement with the state run Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Clement said that Kuwait was the sixth largest donor to UNHCR, providing some $360 million between 2013 and 2015.
“The other GCC countries have not managed to come anywhere close,” she added, referring to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council of mostly oil-rich Arab monarchies.Clements said that apart from the 5 million refugees, there were some 13.5 million people who had been displaced inside Syria, some of them relocated multiple times.
“We would like that to change. In fact the resources that we need in order to provide humanitarian support throughout the world, including places like South Sudan and Somalia or Myanmar, Bangladesh, we are only meeting less than half of our budget,” Clements told reporters.
Asked if she saw an end to the flow of refugees from the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Clements said: “I have to say that the outlook doesn’t look good.”