Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello, TD, has called for an urgent political solution to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria. Speaking at a meeting of European Development Ministers in Brussels today, the Minister said:
“The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Almost 120,000 people have died and nine million men, women and children are in urgent need of life-saving support.
“We need an urgent political solution to solve the crisis which is having a profound impact on Syria and neighbouring countries. Syria’s neighbouring states cannot and should not have to shoulder the burden of hosting millions of Syrian refugees alone. It is for this reason that Ireland is focusing on supporting citizens displaced within Syria and across the wider region.
“I urge all sides and the international stakeholders to commit themselves to use the January 2014 conference in Geneva to bring about an end to the conflict”.
Ireland’s total contribution to the Syrian crisis to date stands at over €14 million, of which more than €11 million has been contributed this year. These funds have been provided to a range of established UN partners as well as to Irish NGOs.
Ministers meeting today also agreed that the EU will adopt a united position on how to finance a new set of international development goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015. Initial talks on this were held during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU during which Development Ministers endorsed a common EU approach to the new global development framework.
12 December 2013
Notes to editor
- Irish Aid is the Government’s programme of overseas assistance. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Further information is available at www.irishaid.ie
- More than one-third of the people of Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
- The most urgent humanitarian needs inside the country are protection, health care, shelter, food and water and sanitation.
- An estimated 4.25 million people are displaced inside Syria.
- More than 2.5 million people inside Syria have not received any assistance for up to a year. Reaching these populations under siege is an urgent priority.
- The Millennium Development Goals, which came into force in 2000, are due to expire in 2015.
- The Post 2015 development framework refers to the new set of goals that is expected to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.
- The European Union delivers over 50% of global official development assistance to developing countries.