The Minister for Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, is now ramping up the support provided to victims of the war in Syria. This involves a new EUR 33.5 million (DKK 250 million) allocation of funds, directed to humanitarian emergency assistance and more long-term development missions in Syria and its neighbouring countries.
”The situation for Syria’s civilians is becoming increasingly desperate. More than 11 million Syrians are internally displaced or have fled the country. At the same time only a fraction of the humanitarian appeals regarding the Syrian crisis are financed. This is why we are now allocating EUR 33.5 million (DKK 250 million) more to help the many people affected by the war – both inside and outside Syria”, says Ulla Tørnæs, adding:
”In February I visited the neighbouring countries, Jordan and Lebanon, which are under extreme pressure due to the great influx of refugees. There is no doubt that it is best for the refugees to remain in that immediate region, but this also requires that we actively help in managing that burden. This is done both by emergency humanitarian aid, food and clean water, and by a more long-term development, which is what the refugee families in Jordan and Lebanon are asking for. In the last two years, the government has given EUR 134 million (DKK 1 billion) to the mission in the crisis region. Today’s approval of funds emphasises that we continue to give very high priority to supporting that region”.
The new humanitarian contribution comes as a prelude to today’s international Syria conference in Brussels. The conference brings together around 70 countries, civil society, the UN and the EU to discuss Syria’s future, as well as to ensure that donors make good on their promises of support to the Syrian civil war’s victims.
”I find it very satisfying that Denmark, with its new allocation of funds, can once again give a strong signal that we support Syria’s population and that region as a whole. But that commitment of resources cannot be all there is. We must continue to support a political solution to the conflict and a peaceful future for the Syrian people. This will be high on Denmark’s agenda in Brussels”, says Ulla Tørnæs.
Since Syriaꞌs civil war broke out in 2011, it has developed into one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises. More than 6 million Syrians are now internally displaced in Syria, while 5 million have fled the country, primarily to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
Since the crisis began in 2011, Denmark has provided more than EUR 268 million (DKK 2 billion) in support to Syria and the neighbouring countries; of this, EUR 134 million (DKK 1 billion) was paid in 2015 and 2016 alone. The new EUR 33.5 million (DKK 250 million) approval of funds is expected to be distributed to UN organisations, the Red Cross, and Danish and international NGOs after the Brussels conference. The allocation will take other donors’ contributions into account, mapping out where the need is greatest. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen, will represent Denmark at the Syria conference in Brussels on 5 April.
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