Emergency assistance for people in Syria21/12/12
The United Nations estimate that two and a half million people inside Syria urgently need humanitarian assistance.
Since early in the year we have been responding to the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Syria and in neighbouring countries. Our support, including life-saving emergency supplies and funding of nearly €2.5 million is helping our partners address the urgent needs of those affected both in Syria and in neighbouring countries.
Winter is causing increased hardship, particularly for those without shelter. Already the devastating conflict in Syria is affecting the lives of millions. 60,000 people have been killed, Over a million people have fled their homes to escape the fighting, many taking shelter in nearby schools and public buildings. Another 350,000 people have crossed into neighbouring countries, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, to seek refuge.
The United Nations estimate that two and a half million people inside Syria urgently need humanitarian assistance, especially the basic needs of food, shelter, water and sanitation and health care. Protecting the civilian population and ensuring that humanitarian workers can safely provide vital assistance is also crucial.
Speaking recently about the impact of the conflict, Minister Costello said:
“Over the past twenty one months, more than 40,000 people are estimated to have died, while millions have fled their homes, many of them seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. I witnessed this when I visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan last August.”
While Ireland will be making every effort to contribute to the seach for a peaceful resolution, meeting the humanitarian needs of the people of Syria will continue to be a priority for us in 2013
Minister Costello also noted that “We must also increase pressure on all sides in Syria to fully respect international humanitarian law and facilitate humanitarian access at all times.”
How we have allocated our funding
As early as March 2012 we provided €500,000 in emergency funding for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissions for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme. Since then Ireland has provided additional support of €1,750,000 to UN agencies and NGO partners who are providing life saving medical assistance to Syrians both in Syria and neighbouring countries. This also included supplies of non-food items from our stocks in Dubai. A contribution of €200,000 to spell out UNRWA for Palestinian refugees caught up in the conflict brings Ireland’s response to the crisis to €2,450,000.