Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria, more than 9 million Syrians have vacated their homes. The figure keeps getting bigger. More than 7 million of these people are internally displaced while more than 2 million people have left the country. The official internal displacement monitoring indicates that with a population of 21, 900, 000, half of Syrians have left their homes (Charron 2015). The civil war in Syria has been going on since 2011. As a consequent of the sweeping effect of the Arab Spring, Syrian Rebels started a campaign to remove the incumbent, Bashar Al-Assad, from power. Terrorist groups and armed groups with other objectives took advantage of the instability to start religiously motivated campaigns. This placed ordinary Syrians in a precarious position. Political, religious, and ethnic affiliations often bring trouble to Syrians from all walks of life. Almost everyone is a possible victim of aggression by government troops, rebels or other armed and political interests. As a result, millions of Syrians have had to leave their homes (Sullivan 2013).
The demographic characteristics of people leaving Syria have been changing over time. In March 2015, 52 percent of the refugees were women. According to an article on the guardian, that proportion has reduced to 47.5 percent. The rest constitutes mostly children and teenagers. 38 percent of the refugees are children under 11 years old. Many of the children have been separated from their parents. Many more have been born in the camps or outside the country as refugees. Ethnic, religious, and political affiliations are influential aspects to which the population of refugees pertains. A majority of Syrians are mostly Sunni Muslims. The rebel groups struggling to remove the incumbent are Mostly Majority Muslims. The government, however, is dominated by minority Alawite Shiite Muslims. Due to political affiliation differences in these groups, a majority of the refugees are Sunni Muslims. However, minority groups like Shiite Muslims, Yezidis, Kurds and Assyrian Christians have had to leave their homes in regions occupied by fundamentalist Sunni Muslim rebels and terrorist groups like Al Nusra and The Islamic State in Syria.
Of the Syrian refugees, more than 1.1 million are in Lebanon. Many live in abandoned buildings, shelters and tents. Other countries that these refugees flock to include: Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt (Chalabi 2015). Most Refugees move to these countries as they wait for the war to end so they can return. Others also wait for resettlement in more financially stable and secure western countries including Germany, Finland, Netherlands, The United States, and The United Kingdom among others. Many of these refugees depend on emergency financing, food and other critical supplies for survival. They experience difficulties accessing jobs, housing, and healthcare facilities. Most spend time in the shelters, camps and residences. Some non-governmental organizations like care-international help by supporting refugees seek assistance to address their needs. They also give them opportunities to access technical and vocational training to help them earn income (Filali 2015). The refugees get other forms of support from such organizations. Such support may be in the form of food, shelter, water and sanitation. Many of the refugees arrive in the destined countries without any property or finance on them. They manage to survive through the help given by these organizations.
The effect of the presence of large numbers of Syrians refugees in the countries they go to reside can be felt far and wide. In Lebanon, for instance, the sectarian religious balance of Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims has been tilted. This balance has influenced the state of stability in Syria for Years. A large influx of Sunni Islam adherents has increased the sect’s population. Jordan has been a friendly neighbor to Syria for years. Many Syrians and Jordanians along the Jordan Syria border are related through intermarriage and decade long working and association relations. The large influx of Syrian refugees in Jordan, therefore, has been a major test of the hospitality of Jordanians to Syrians. The large number of Syrians has put a strain on many local resources and the Jordanian economy needs Aid to be able to handle the requirements of the refugees. The situation is the same in neighboring Middle Eastern countries that host the Syrian refugees.
Many western nations have been taking in smaller number of refugees. The United States has only taken less than 500 refugees out of the millions of refugees displaced. So far, approximately 9000 refugees have been resettled in the west. The main reason the United States is cautious about admitting Syrian refugees is the fear of admitting dangerous people. The United Kingdom has resettled 90 refugees only. Liechtenstein has taken 4 refugees. While Syrian refugees would be safer and better off in western nations, the resettlement seems to only stagnate and does not move past pledges. Countries surrounding Syria have taken in larger numbers of refugees. These numbers are so large that they affect the general demographics of the countries. The economies of these countries are strained and there is a lot of strain on local resources. This may result in a conflict between refugees and citizens of their host countries. In Jordan, Riots have already been witnessed in the camps (“Syria Refugee Crisis” 2015). Western nations have a stake in the prevailing state of the Syrian conflict. They are obliged to admit refugees to ensure that the burden is spread.
One western country that has been exceptional in admittance of Syrian refugees is Germany. Besides admitting the highest number of refugees among western nations, Germany has pledged to resettle 30,000 more (Brenner 2015). Many Syrians settling in Germany have noted the hospitality and generosity with which they have been welcome. However, the resettlement has not been a smooth ride. Some far-right politicians have questioned the resettlement of people from cultures and heritages that clash with German culture. Many western nations have the same worry too. This has been the main reason and basis by which the west has been checking and sieving the number of admissions allowed.
The Syrian conflict has been going on for more than 3 years. The conflict started out as a revolution to topple the current president Bashar Al Assad. This was a successor to the commencement of the Arab Spring in neighboring countries. The revolution morphed into a civil war pitting government forces against the rebels. The ethnic, religious composition and the historic circumstances of Syria were major catalysts for how the conflict turned out. The conflict spread out through the country with the growth of splinter groups with varying goals and interests among the rebels. This heralded the widening of the conflict area across Syria. More Syrians have had to leave their homes and country into neighboring countries. As the conflict continues, the plight of Syrian Refugees continues to depend heavily on how soon the conflict ends and how resolutions are structured.
Brenner, Yermi. “Fleeing Violence, Syrian Refugees Find New Homes in Germany | Al Jazeera America.” Fleeing Violence, Syrian Refugees Find New Homes in Germany | Al Jazeera America. 8 Dec. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Chalabi, Mona. Where Are the Syrian Refugees Going? 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Charron, Gillaume. “IDMC » Displacement in Syria as of 21 October 2014.” IDMC » Displacement in Syria as of 21 October 2014. 21 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Mar. 2015.
Filali, Yousef. “Helping Syrian Refugees.” Spotlight Syrian Refugees. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Sullivan, Kevin. “Refuge: 18 Stories from the Syrian Exodus.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
“Syria Refugee Crisis.” Syria Refugee Crisis. 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.