Ireland pledges €12 million for humanitarian crisis in Syria in 20151/4/15
Minister Sherlock announces €12 million for humanitarian crisis in Syria
Over €43 million supplied since start of conflict
Ireland will provide €12 million in 2015 in funding and emergency supplies to help meet the urgent needs of those affected by the Syria conflict.
The announcement was made by the Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, at a major humanitarian pledging conference for Syria in Kuwait.
The Conference is designed to raise €7.7 billion to help nearly 18 million people in Syria and the region in 2015. Already this year, Ireland has provided €3.3 million of this funding to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), UNICEF, and the World Food Programme to ensure that their vital work can continue.
Speaking from the pledging conference in Kuwait, Minister Sherlock said:
“The conflict in Syria has cost more than 200,000 lives and left more than 12 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
“Ireland’s contribution of €12 million in 2015 will help alleviate the terrible suffering of the Syrian people by funding life-saving humanitarian supplies and urgently-needed health, education, water and sanitation services, as well as measures to protect children and vulnerable people.
“This funding underlines Ireland’s continued commitment to responding to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and in neighbouring countries for millions of the most vulnerable Syrians, including refugees and internally displaced persons.
“It will bring the total value of the Irish Government’s response to the crisis in Syria to over €41 million.”
Minister Sherlock also spoke of the continued suffering of civilians and humanitarian workers:
“The Syrian people continue to endure extreme hardship and suffering. The ongoing conflict has placed the civilian population in great danger.
“I am particularly concerned about the threat to the safety of the extremely brave Syrians who are assisting their neighbours and communities with humanitarian relief. They face huge personal risks in their daily lives.”
Minister Sherlock also paid tribute to those GOAL workers who were injured over the weekend in the conflict:
“I was greatly saddened to hear that three people working with GOAL have been injured in the ongoing conflict and my thoughts are with them and their families. I want to underline the need for all parties to this conflict to respect international humanitarian law and to respect the safety and security of frontline humanitarian workers.”
The funding from Irish Aid will be provided to international humanitarian agencies on the ground including the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and NGO partners.
31 March 2015
Notes to Editor:
- Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. www.irishaid.ie
- Since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, more than 200,000 people have been killed. Approximately 12.2 million people, over half of Syria’s population of 22 million, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Approximately 7.6 million of these people are displaced within Syria, while millions more are refugees. The most urgent humanitarian needs inside the country are protection, health care, shelter, food and water and sanitation. Prior to the conflict, Syria was classified as a country of ‘medium human development’, but has moved from being the world’s second-largest refugee-hosting country, to being the largest refugee-producing country within just seven years.
- There are over 3.8 million registered refugees in neighbouring countries, more than half of them children. There are 1.7 million refugees in Turkey, nearly 1.2 million in Lebanon, 627,000 in Jordan and 244,000 in Iraq, with smaller numbers in North Africa. This poses a particular strain for Jordan and Lebanon, small countries where refugees are now a huge percentage of the population. Overwhelmed by the numbers, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have all recently placed restrictions on Syrian refugees wishing to enter their countries. Amongst those displaced are 235,000 Palestinian refugees, approximately half of the total number of Palestinians who were previously refugees in Syria.
- The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. Some 12.2 million people, including 7.6 million internally displaced people, are in urgent need of assistance. There are serious concerns about the situation of the 4.8 million people that live in hard-to-reach areas, particularly the 212,000 people who reside in communities that are besieged by either the Syrian Government or armed opposition forces. And there are ongoing serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws. In addition, there are more than 3.8 million refugees in neighbouring countries and North Africa, placing enormous strain on host governments and communities. While a political solution to this crisis is sought, efforts to protect civilians and deliver much-needed aid to people at risk must continue.
- For the past two years the Amir of Kuwait has hosted the High-Level International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria attended by representatives from Member States, regional organisations, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations. The pledging conferences raised US$1.5 billion in 2013 and US$2.4 billion in 2014 from more than 40 donors. The Amir of Kuwait has generously agreed to host and open the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait City on 31 March. The Conference will be chaired by UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
- In December 2014, humanitarian partners launched the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (US$5.5 million) and the Strategic Response Plan for Syria ($2.9 billion). Together, they request US$8.4 billion to help nearly 18 million people in Syria and the region in 2015.
- The 2015 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan focuses on protecting affected people and providing life-saving aid to those in need. The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan addresses the adverse social, humanitarian and economic effects of the Syrian conflict in neighbouring countries
- The aim of the conference is to raise the financial resources required to enable United Nations organisations and partners to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Syria and neighbouring countries, support host communities and contribute to the stabilisation of neighbouring countries.
- The conference will be at the ministerial level. Invitations have been sent by the UN Secretary-General to Member States encouraging their participation and pledges during the conference.
- Almost 80 Member States, including those who have contributed to the Syria Appeal in the past as well as potential new donors were invited along with four regional organizations - the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), League of Arab States (LAS), the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the European Union (EU) at the level of Secretary-General and Commissioner. About 20 places are reserved for NGOs working both inside and outside Syria. Other participants are expected from development finance institutions and UN agencies.
- The Conference will be a one day event dedicated to raising resources for the Syria crisis. Accordingly, the core of the event will be the announcement of pledges by participating delegates.
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