Saturday, February 2, 2013

Non-boring FAIL

Blogger J, whose Tales from the Hood blog used to be daily reading for myself, and many other aid workers until he shut it down, issued a challenge yesterday on twitter to write a non boring blog post about aid. This is not going to satisfy him, or many of you I imagine, because the reality is, in the midst of a large emergency I just don't have the head space right now to write about aid in a non-boring way.

This week, I've sat at my desk in Beirut, for about 11 hours each day. There was one exception, when I sat in a car for just over an hour to go to a coordination meeting in the north, got very frustrated at the lack of coordination and time management at a 2 hour meeting, and then spent another hour and a half getting back to Beirut. I've spent a lot of time writing/editing/culling our overall programme strategy for the response to the Syria Crisis (now down to only 24 pages! *sarcasm*), I've written the weekly shitrep, I've written the terms of reference for an evaluation team we'll have coming in soon. I've done all sorts of things that are interesting to do, but not at all interesting to write about. 

There are so many non-boring things going on in relation to the Syria crisis, but I can't seem to find the enthusiasm to turn that into my own language to make it interesting for you. When there aren't words, there ARE numbers, so here in a number of numbers, is what's going on right now....

4,000,000 - number of Syrians affected by the crisis
2,000,000 - number of Syrians internally displaced (within Syria)

733,196 - total number of Syrian refugees registered (or waiting for registration) with UNHCR in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and North Africa.
242,226 - total number of Syrian refugees registered (or waiting for registration) with UNHCR in Lebanon

500,000 - number of Palestine refugees in Syria
400,000 - number of Palestine refugees affected by the crisis
20,000 - Number of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon (old figure)
$1,519,000,000 - amount of funding required by the UN to provide support (directly and also through partner organisations) for 6 months, in Syria and surrounding countries

It's sometimes hard to comprehend what's happening in Syria, what has been happening for almost 2 years. I just re-read an old post I did about spending a weekend in Aleppo and Damascus a couple of years ago, and it saddens me to think what these glorious cities look like now.

I'll only mention it this once, if you are able to donate money to help the response to the Syria crisis, please donate to an agency of your choice (but make sure it's a good one that will spend the money wisely!) Every penny helps.

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