The Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD today announced Ireland will provide additional funding for life-saving emergency supplies to assist thousands of families in Syria.
Minister Costello is attending a major humanitarian pledging conference for Syria, chaired by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon in Kuwait. The United Nations has described the situation in Syria as the greatest humanitarian crisis in modern history, with more than 9 million people in urgent need of assistance.
Today’s conference is designed to raise $6.5 billion in aid to assist aid agencies to deliver vital assistance, including food, water, sanitation and medical supplies.
Ireland will provide €12 million in funding from Irish Aid’s 2014 budget for humanitarian emergencies. The funding will be provided to our partners on the ground including the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and NGO partners. It will provide food, basic healthcare, education and protection to thousands of the most vulnerable Syrians, including refugees who have fled the country and those who have been displaced within Syria.
Speaking ahead of the conference Minister Costello said:
“This funding underlines Ireland’s continuing commitment to supporting the families and communities whose lives have been devastated by the conflict in Syria. Ireland’s contribution of €12m will help people to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, healthcare and education. It will bring the total value of the Irish Government’s response to the crisis in Syria to more than €26 million.
“During my visit to Lebanon last year I was struck by the overwhelming generosity of Syria’s neighbours who now host more than 2.3 million refugees. They need our support in order to continue to provide this lifeline.
“The humanitarian crisis in Syria is a growing threat to regional stability and a major human tragedy. Ireland calls on all sides to provide unhindered access for humanitarian assistance, to protect civilians and frontline workers and to fully respect international humanitarian law.
“This funding will provide support to the millions of people displaced in Syria and the millions who have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. The funds will ensure that food, education, health and other essential services are provided to Syrian refugee families.
"I welcome the Geneva II talks which are due to start on 22 January and urge all sides to participate, agree an early ceasefire and urgently seek a peaceful solution."