The European Commission is preparing to release an additional €50 million in humanitarian funding to help Syrian civilians caught up in the country's crisis. This will bring the Commission's total contribution to €119 million.
The funds will be released as soon as the European Parliament and the Council have approved the decision.
It would bring to €200 million the assistance from the European Commission and Member States – roughly half of all international humanitarian aid provided during the crisis. This puts the European Union in a clear lead in responding to the UN's call for more funding.
Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for Humanitarian Aid, Civil Protection and Crisis Response, said: ‘The humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening almost daily now that the hostilities have slipped into civil war. There are already tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. This calls for massive and effective humanitarian aid to reach those in urgent need of medical supplies and items such as baby food. This is why we are stepping up our assistance in this desperate situation.
‘I also want to take this opportunity to call once more on all parties to the conflict to respect the lives of innocent civilians caught up in the fighting through no fault of their own.’
The latest contribution from the EU will cover healthcare for the wounded and those in need of emergency treatment, basic healthcare services, shelter, food, water, sanitation and household items for both the displaced within Syria and refugees abroad. The target beneficiaries include more than 1.5 million people in Syria and a large proportion of the almost 200 000 Syrians who have fled to neighbouring countries. Assistance will also be provided to some 500 000 Palestinian refugees and another 87 000 Iraqi refugees who live in Syria. The funding will be channelled through the European Commission's humanitarian partners, including UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent family and non-governmental organisations.