Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has just received the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, with whom she discussed the growing emergency inside Syria.
‘The situation is escalating and here is a very real danger that a refugee crisis will mushroom,’ Commissioner Georgieva warned after the meeting.
The European Commissioner and the OCHA chief appealed for the immediate cessation of violence in Homs, Dara, Idlib, Hama and other affected cities and villages. They underlined, in the strongest terms, the need for all parties to respect the neutrality of humanitarian workers and organisations, and to ensure the unhindered and safe access to victims of the violence. ‘Humanitarian assistance must not, under any circumstances, be politicised,’ Commissioner Georgieva stressed.
Despite problems accessing the victims of the violence, the Commission has released emergency funds to provide humanitarian assistance in Syria and neighbouring countries. The €3 million in funding covers life-saving medical assistance to those who have been wounded or forced to flee the ongoing violence in the country. EU Member States have also contributed funding for humanitarian aid – France €1 million, Germany €3 million, UK £2 million – bringing the current EU humanitarian allocation to over €8 million.
Commissioner Georgieva commended the brave efforts of the Red Cross movement in Syria, where it is the sole international provider of relief aid, working relentlessly to help civilians in the face of substantial adversity. The Commissioner also expressed her appreciation and gratitude to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan on their welcoming attitude towards the Syrian refugees.
During today's meeting, Commissioner Georgieva and Baroness Amos also discussed the work of the European Union and the United Nations to alleviate hunger, disease and displacement in Somalia and the Sahel.
You can watch the statements of Commissioner Georgieva and UN Under-Secretary-General Amos here.