United Nations High Commission for Refugees
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Conflict and indiscriminate violence has plagued large areas of the Middle East in 2014, creating unprecedented protection and humanitarian needs for people of concern to UNHCR. The lack of prospect for peace or stability in the region in the near future offers little hope of the situation improving in 2015.
Home to several overlapping crises and humanitarian emergencies, the Middle East is likely to witness further internal and external displacement, with vast numbers of existing refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) requiring direct humanitarian support.
As the war in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) enters its fourth year, a return to widespread violence in Iraq threatens to affect millions, and Yemen's fragile political transition risks sparking renewed internal clashes further affecting the lives of extremely vulnerable IDPs and refugees.
In an increasingly volatile and dangerous environment for both people of concern and local/international humanitarian actors, maintaining its presence and preparedness to assess and reach affected populations will be a major challenge for UNHCR.
While the international community struggles to effectively address multiple crises, and their implications beyond the Middle East, UNHCR's immediate priority will be to maintain the most favourable protection environment for people of concern, through active advocacy and support to the affected national and local entities.
Encouraging conformity with international standards will take into account the generosity already shown by many hosting countries and the growing challenges of ensuring peaceful coexistence between refugees and local populations.
In terms of basic services and essential needs, UNHCR will need to maintain considerable resources for the distribution of emergency relief to millions. While the majority of refugees and IDPs in the region will continue to live in local communities, those camps already in existence or due to be built in 2015 will require significant funding. Meanwhile, supporting people outside camps will need greater monitoring to ensure the most vulnerable are reached, wherever there may be.
UNHCR will maintain overall coordination of the humanitarian community's refugee response and lead in the areas of IDP protection, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), as well as shelter and non-food item distribution. This inter-agency coordination is essential in order to maintain the ambitious humanitarian strategies made necessary by the scale of the region's challenges and needs.
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