The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the Syrian Center for Policy Research and with important support from the European Union (EU), has issued the second in a series of quarterly socioeconomic monitoring reports on the crisis in Syria.
War on Development examines social and economic indicators and developments from April to June 2013. It describes the catastrophic impact of the ongoing armed conflict, now more than 2 years old, on the lives, livelihoods and environments of people in Syria.
More than a third of the country’s population have fled their homes and neighbourhoods, and more than half live in poverty. Among Palestine refugees, over half of the 529,000 registered in Syria have been displaced, either within the country or outside its borders.
The economic impact of the conflict has compounded people’s suffering. Almost half the workforce is unemployed, with over 2.33 million jobs lost. Syria is rapidly de-industrializing; agriculture now accounts for 54 per cent of GDP, and since March 2011, the economy has lost US$ 103.1 billion. Fiscal management is stretched to the limit.
The ongoing conflict continues to hinder the human development of people in Syria. Young people have been particularly vulnerable, with half of all school-age children no longer in school and many schools closed due to violence, instability or damage. The health system is nearing collapse: 40 per cent of public hospitals are out of service and 63 per cent have been damaged, while over half of the 23 UNRWA health centres have been closed. Doctor-patient ratios have plummeted sixfold, even as more than 2 per cent of the population has been killed, maimed or wounded in the conflict.
This series of quarterly reports, made possible by funding through the EU Instrument for Stability (IfS), is an important tool by which to measure the growing impact of the conflict. Support from the IfS has also been crucial in enabling UNRWA to provide and maintain humanitarian, educational, health and microfinance interventions in Syria. As the conflict continues, UNRWA services represent an increasingly important source of support.
Read the report here.