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Europe responds to the acute humanitarian needs in Syria

Syrian residents take goods from a truck which rebels captured at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on July 20, 2012, near Aleppo © EU
23/07/2012  - 

The European Commission is doubling its aid for emergency medical care, shelter, food and water to the Syrians most affected by the ever-worsening crisis. An additional €20 million of relief aid will bring the European Commission's total assistance to €63 million (€40 million in humanitarian aid and € 23 in complementary assistance to support livelihoods). The EU Member States have contributed to date € 27.5 million in humanitarian aid.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said: "With the violence spiralling out into a full blown civil conflict hundreds of thousands of Syrians are in a desperate situation. The needs are huge inside the country but also on the increase in the neighbouring countries which face a larger influx of Syrian refugees as I saw for myself when I met Syrian refugees in a camp at the Turkish border with Syria. The scaling up of the EU assistance is the most concrete expression of our solidarity with the Syrian people affected by the conflict ".

The additional funding will go to projects which provide food, water, sanitation, shelter, medical support and supplies, as well as psychological support both to an estimated 1.5 million Syrians inside the country and to Syrian refugees.

The Commissioner reiterated: "Once again, in the strongest of terms, I call on all parties to protect civilians, including humanitarian workers. The shooting at ambulances and the targeting of aid workers has to stop".

The Commission will continue to channel its funding through its humanitarian partners, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), who are uniquely placed to ensure that the delivery of humanitarian aid based on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.