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Record Aid for displaced Syrians

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
EU commits 350 million euros in aid for displaced Syrians
The European Union on Tuesday allocated 350 million euros (370 million dollars) for Syrians displaced by the country‘s conflict, in its biggest single aid package to date in response to the refugee crisis.
A Syrian refugee child stands in front of the demolished building on a snowy day in Istanbul, Turkey, 19 February 2015. UN press release stated that an additional 37 million Euros, part of a new package of 136 million Euros to help those affected by the crisis both within and without Syria, in humanitarian aid has been offered to Lebanon to assist the country which has been flooded with refugees fleeing the civil war.

Brussels (dpa) - "The war in Syria is the biggest humanitarian crisis we have been facing for decades; we have a duty to provide support to refugees and the communities that are hosting them," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

The funding is to go towards education, water, food and healthcare, as well as improving economic opportunities for refugees living in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq. The EU also hopes that, by improving the lives of Syrian refugees in those host countries, it can reduce the number of people setting out to reach Europe. More than 900,000 people have reached the continent this year, according to the International Office for Migration.

Biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War II
"Europe and the countries in Syria‘s neighbourhood are facing the biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War II, affecting all of us," said EU Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn. "Our response must be a joint one if we want to succeed." The EU has an overall 610 million euros in humanitarian aid available to respond to the Syrian crisis, including 43.5 million euros committed by 16 of the EU‘s 28 member states.
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (2-R), with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford (R), testifies before the House Armed Services Committee hearing on US strategy in Syria and Iraq on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA, 01 December 2015.

An initial 40 million euros were made available in May, and the rest is due to be mobilized early next year, the commission said. Tuesday‘s funding pledge sets out to provide schooling for 172,000 refugee children; help 400,000 people gain work, develop their skills or meet their basic financial needs; provide healthcare for 700,000 refugees; and grant water and sanitation to up to 1 million people in Jordan and Lebanon.

On top of 200 million euros already pledged by the commission

The funding will be disbursed via aid agencies and non-governmental organizations working in the region. It comes on top of 200 million euros already pledged by the commission to meet life-threatening needs in the areas of food aid, health, water, sanitation, shelter and protection. This has now been allocated to agencies working in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Western Balkans, the commission said Tuesday.

At a summit with Turkey on Sunday, the EU pledged another 3 billion euros to help Syrian refugees in Turkey over the next two years. However, the bloc‘s member states have not yet agreed how to split the bill.


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