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Ireland’s humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people

Emergencies, Aid Effectiveness, News/feature, Syria, 2017

Photo: TARABISHI, Sana, 29/11/2016. Copyright:  ICRC

Southeast of the city of Aleppo, Jibreen. The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent visit the collective shelters to assess and monitor humanitarian needs. Photo: TARABISHI, Sana, 29/11/2016. Copyright: ICRC

The ongoing conflict in Syria has resulted in a severe and devastating humanitarian crisis. Over 13 million people are currently in need of urgent, life-saving assistance and millions have been forced to leave their homes.

Thanks to the continued support of the Irish people, the Government of Ireland delivered more than €25 million in humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people in 2016. This brings Ireland’s total funding to those affected by the conflict in Syria to €67.5 million since 2012.  This is our largest ever humanitarian response.

Ireland provides this funding to a range of partner organisations such as UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, who work within Syria and in neighbouring countries. Working with these organisations helps to ensure that Irish funding goes to those who need it most. These partners provide humanitarian supplies where and when they are needed. These can include urgently-needed healthcare, food, water and sanitation services, or cash to buy what is needed.  Funding also contributes to protecting civilians living in conflict zones and those forced to flee their homes for safer places.

Children are often the worst affected by conflict, they can spend their whole childhood away from their homes in difficult and dangerous circumstances. Irish funding is also used to help these children access education, wherever they now live. This gives children and their families hope for the future and the chance of a normal life.

During 2016, Ireland’s funding supported the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who work with some of the most vulnerable communities in Syria, bringing assistance to people living in conflict and under siege. Irish funding also supports the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, made up of thousands of Syrian volunteers working to help their own people living within conflict zones. The President of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, visited Ireland in November and he spoke about the situation in Syria and the work that his organisation does throughout the world.

In addition to providing funding, Ireland also deploys members of the Irish Aid Rapid Response Corps to the Balkans and Middle East to assist the UN agencies there who are working with refugees and migrants from Syria and neighbouring countries.

These are just some examples of what the continued support of the Irish people is achieving in Syria.

Recognising this support, Joe McHugh T.D., Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, stated:

“Ireland has consistently used its voice to advocate for the protection of civilians and an immediate end to the prolonged and devastating conflict in Syria, and in Aleppo in particular. The protection of the Syrian people requires our sustained efforts and Ireland’s message remains consistent: we will continue to press, through all available diplomatic, legal and political channels, for an end to the suffering of the Syrian people. We will continue to closely monitor humanitarian needs and stand ready to provide further assistance to those affected by the ongoing conflict.”

For further information on Ireland’s response in Syria and the region, contact Irish Aid or visit the DFAT website.