EU pledges additional €100mn to Syria, for humanitarian aid, bringing total so far to €200mn
On the 29th January, in Brussels, the European Commission announced that it would be pledging an additional €100 million, for humanitarian aid in Syria, at the International Pledging Conference for Syria (convened by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon) which is to be held in Kuwait’s Bayan Palace on 30th January.This new round of funding, for 2013, will be in addition to the €100 million already allocated to the Syrian crisis, for the period 2011/2012, bringing the European Commission's humanitarian funding for the crisis so far to €200 million in total.
The Conference (first-ever high-level International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria), hosted by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah (the Emir of Kuwait), will be chaired by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and is aimed at addressing the funding gaps for the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (SHARP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (RRP). Between them SHARP and RRP are hoping to raise US$1.5 billion to assist the millions of civilians, affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria over the next six months, including those inside the country as well as many others taking refuge beyond its borders. RRP, which supports more than half a million refugees who have fled Syria to Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt, requires about $1 billion and SHARP requires more than $519 million to help over 4 million people inside Syria, including an estimated 2 million internally displaced persons.
Attendees at the one-day conference will be representatives from UN member states, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOS) and will provide an opportunity for UN Member States to continue supporting the much-needed humanitarian response. To date only a small proportion of funding has been received, limiting the ability of UN agencies and their humanitarian partners to reach people who desperately need help.
Prior to her departure for the Conference, Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said, “This additional €100 million is desperately needed. People inside Syria are cold, hungry and scared. Those who have managed to cross the borders often arrive with no more than the clothes on their backs. Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq must be praised for their generosity towards refugees fleeing Syria, but the flow is ever-increasing and these countries need more support. At the conference in Kuwait, I will also reiterate the need to respect International Humanitarian Law and to apply humanitarian principles at all times when delivering assistance. This is the only way to reach the largest number of people in need. This funding is a concrete expression of the unwavering solidarity of Europeans with all those affected by the Syrian crisis. I can only hope that this will encourage additional pledges from the EU Member States and the rest of the international community. Funding is key in avoiding a further deterioration of this massive humanitarian crisis.” (IP/13/60)
The EU’s additional €100mn will help fund the top priority needs in Syria, and neighbouring countries, such as emergency medical response (both medical and psycho-social care) to the wounded and the traumatized (in particular children) as well as providing food, clean water, shelter, registration and protection to the refugees. In order to facilitate this medicines will be distributed, to ameliorate the shortage of drugs, and sanitation systems will be built, or repaired, to avoid waterborne diseases. Assistance will also be provided to the displaced and refugees, who often arrive destitute, as well as to their host communities who are battling to cope as their own resources are depleted. All funding raised at the conference, including the EU’s, will be channelled through UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent family and international NGOs.
Last Updated (Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:44)