Women and girls make up nearly half of the 258 million people worldwide who have crossed international borders to escape danger or pursue opportunity. Amidst unprecedented levels of forced displacement – with 68.5 million people driven from their homes by the end of 2017 – about half of refugees, too, are women and girls.
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Syrian Arab Republic
Founder Samira Harnish, an Iraqi immigrant, is named Nansen Award regional finalist from the Americas.
UNHCR is expanding cash-based assistance so that the millions of people that it serves can meet their needs in dignity, are protected and can become more resilient. Taking a bank card to a cash machine in Beirut, Syrian widow Manar Al Sayer taps in a PIN and withdraws a few Lebanese pounds.
1.3 million refugees are currently hosted by Jordan, a country that continues to demonstrate humanitarian leadership in the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2012, UN Women opened its first Oasis— a centre for refugee women and girls to access emergency aid and specialized gender-based violence services at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan. Over time, the scope and impact of the Oasis model has expanded to encompass multi-sectoral services that build women’s resilience and empowerment. Currently, UN Women operates four Oasis centres in two Jordanian camps: Za’atari and Azraq.
In August 2015, she and her younger sister Yusra took the same hazardous route to Lesvos themselves, as refugees fleeing the war in their native Syria.