Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD today announced that Ireland will provide more than €5 million in funding to organisations including Goal, Oxfam Ireland and Concern to assist civilians affected by the Syria crisis.
Some €5.3 million – which is part of a €12 million package of support for 2014 announced by the Minister at a recent international pledging conference for Syria - will be used to provide emergency food, water, health and protection to the most vulnerable Syrians.
Minister Costello today announced that:
· Goal will receive €1 million to support its work in Syria
· Oxfam Ireland and Concern will receive €500,000 each for their work to assist Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan and Lebanon
· World Vision and Plan Ireland will each receive €400,000 to assist those affected by the Syrian conflict in Egypt and Syria.
· An additional €2.5 million will be channelled through the European Union’s regional development and protection programme.
The Minister said:
“The conflict in Syria has created one of the most serious humanitarian disasters in modern times. It is aggravated by the unwillingness of the warring sides to facilitate humanitarian agencies’ safe access to areas of greatest need within Syria. The negotiations in Geneva which have begun exploring possible solutions to the conflict must make the provision of safe civilian access with humanitarian supplies the absolute priority so as to alleviate the suffering of the tens of thousands of Syrians whose plight is desperate - literally life or death.
“Ireland has shown strong leadership in our response to this devastating crisis. More than nine million people in Syria and the surrounding region urgently need assistance. The harsh winter is making conditions for refugees and internally displaced people even more difficult. Indiscriminate violence and widespread human rights violations have caused an estimated 130,000 deaths.
“Countries in the region, such as Jordan and Lebanon, have shown great generosity in hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees but have come under great strain as a result. This assistance will greatly benefit those affected in these countries, as well as inside Syria. It is crucial that the international community respond promptly to the growing needs, if the immense suffering is to be alleviated. ”
The UN has called the Syria crisis the ‘greatest humanitarian crisis in modern history' and has appealed for assistance of US$6.5 billion to meet the needs of the millions affected by the crisis.
Today’s announcement brings Ireland’s total contribution to this crisis to date to €19 million. The funding to NGOs announced today is part of a pledge of €12 million which Minister Costello made at an international pledging conference for Syria and region in Kuwait on 15 January. The full €12 million for 2014 will be allocated over the course of the year.
16 February 2014
Note to editors:
- 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.
- €2.5 million of the funding announced by the Minister today is being provided to the Regional Development and Protection Programme, an initiative led by the European Commission and Denmark to support refugees and host communities affected by the ongoing Syria crisis in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
- Since the uprising in Syria began in March 2011 an estimated 130,000 people have been killed. The most urgent humanitarian needs inside the country are protection, health care, shelter, food and water and sanitation. The number of refugees and individuals awaiting registration as a result of the crisis currently stands at more than 2.4 million.
- As part of our support, Ireland has also provided emergency supplies through our Rapid Response Initiative.