Scales for Justice

Working towards peace and reconciliation



S4J Humanitarian 

Advocacy cannot be complete without practical action. As an NGO working for human rights Scales for Justice (S4J) therefore remains committed to providing humanitarian relief and practical help in justice matters. S4J is especially concerned about the plight of refugees and those people affected by war and conflict. The challenges this world is facing in 2015 are numerous and interdependent. Conflict and indiscriminate violence have plagued large areas of the Middle East, creating unprecedented protection and humanitarian needs for people. Below some facts:

 

According to UN figures, in the fourth year of the conflict in Syria, there are more than 3 million Syrian refugees in the region. Inside Syria, an estimated 10.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The security situation remains volatile. Syrian refugees are among the hardest hit by the record low temperatures across the Middle East in January 2015. Hundreds of thousands have been sleeping in makeshift tents along the Lebanese-Syrian border. Several people including two children have already died from the cold.

 

In Iraq, the deteriorating security situation has triggered new waves of displacement. Between January and September 2014 some 1.8 million people were internally displaced and heavy fighting has forced people to flee to other parts of the country. Many of the displaced have sought safety in the Kurdistan Region, which is also hosting more than 95 per cent of Syrian refugees in Iraq. In August 2014, the Iraqi internal displacement situation was declared the highest UN emergency level (level3).  

The security situation in Libya is increasingly volatile with at least 140,000 Libyans displaced within the country by recent fighting, as of September 2014.

Yemen continues to face a complex humanitarian situation characterized by insecurity, localized conflicts, water scarcity, and extreme poverty. These challenges are exacerbated by rising prices and economic difficulties that contribute to reduced access to food and safe water, basic state services and livelihood opportunities. Yemen's malnutrition levels are among the highest in the world. The number of people internally displaced rose significantly in 2014, with over 334,000 people registered as IDPs across the country. In addition, Yemen hosts 246,000 registered refugees, 95 per cent of whom are Somalis.

 

The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire. Following the intense Israeli bombardment in July 2014, the scale of destruction, devastation and displacement is unprecedented since the beginning of the  occupation in 1967. More than 100,000 Palestinians have been left homeless, over half of them are children. Construction material can hardly enter the territory due to the Israeli siege. Those living in makeshift shelters or prefabricated housing units are particularly vulnerable. Flooding and lack of adequate heating make a difficult situation even more miserable and dangerous. The bitter cold weather in January 2015 has already claimed several lives including four infants.

Sources: UNHCR Middle East and North Africa; OCHA