The most significant mistake by any German government since WW II:
It’s all about timing, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (picture) have missed the opportunity to keep the Syrian refugees within Turkey as they did not provide funding to the Turkish government between 2012 and 2015 – four long lost years.
Only in late 2015 and now 2016 did Germany and other EU member states begin to provide enough funding for them to stay in the refugee camps in Turkey.
The support for the Syrian refugees was even cut in 2014 and 2015.
They had to leave the camps to Europe to survive.
Globalo documented this journey of a family from Aleppo to Germany in our co-production Watani – My homeland.
Germany ( and the EU) missed the option to leave more than one million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Tumbling poll numbers and rising violence in Germany
Merkel has recently had to launch a passionate defence of her stance on migrants since her open door policy began in September 2015. She has since promised her party faithful in a recent speech to reduce the numbers entering the country and has warned that Germany would eventually be ‘overwhelmed’ if this were not the case. Her speech was followed by an eight minute standing ovation.
$8.4 billion necessary in 2015, $7.7 billion in 2016
That’s the number estimated by the U.N. in its largest ever appeal for a standalone crisis. This is the amount needed to help all those affected by the crisis both inside and outside of Syria in 2015, according to their estimates. This is up $2 billion from the year prior. However, both appeals were only 50% funded.
The growth is staggering, and exponential
- 2012: only 100,000 refugees
- April 2013: 800,000
- August 2013: 1.6 million
- Now: 5+ million
This makes Syria the world’s largest refugee population under the United Nations’ mandate.
It is the largest exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.
The number of lone child asylum seekers has risen by 50% in the last year
As the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) reported:
- “The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. More and more people are being made destitute as fighting continues. The WFP is struggling to meet the urgent food needs of more than 5 million displaced people in Syria and neighbouring countries”.
Food operations are severely underfunded, meaning that the WFP has been severely underfunded, which means the WFP has had their hand forced over reducing the level of assistance it is able to provide to refugees across the region.
Their infographic highlights the problem.
WFP has three main goals under its Syria response:
- To deliver food to people affected by conflict, malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers;
- To provide emergency food assistance;
- To offer tailored programmes focusing on relief and recovery, school feeding and nutrition.