How the Crisis in Iraq Is Straining Aid Distribution in Syria

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Baker: We already have one example here in Jordan. We've been involved in cash transfer programming, which is a great way to reach vulnerable families and give them the funds they need to pay rent or medical fees or keep their kids in school. And we're ending much of that programming at the end of July. That will be more than 6,000 people who will fall off that system, simply because we can't find new donor resources. Cash programming is an area where donors are beginning to retreat, because it's very expensive.

Some of the other areas, like water, sanitation and hygiene, are hit hard. There's an extraordinary scale of the need – it's massive across Syria, and then Lebanon and Jordan – and now its being impacted by drought. There are huge numbers of people who are used to having running water in their homes who now are having to find new ways of getting water. And there's a risk of disease around that. We've seen polio, measles. We're concerned now about cholera, particularly in the areas of Syria no one is able to access.

Syria Deeply: What will we see from donors over the next couple of months?

Baker: Donors are still trying to figure out exactly how to respond to Iraq, and it feels that perhaps they're holding back a little bit until they see what's going to happen next – rather than getting in very quickly behind the needs of people who've been displaced in the recent fighting in Mosul. Huge amounts of money have not been allocated recently. They're holding back a bit and seeing where this is going.

This article originally appeared on Syria Deeply.

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