Monitoring closely the situation in Syria and neighbouring countries, the European Commission is aware that twenty two cases of acute flaccid paralysis, possibly caused by the poliovirus, have been diagnosed in Northern Syria. The situation is extremely worrying given the security situation and the problems with access to those who will need to be vaccinated.
The Commission is in contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to see how we can be of further assistance if the cases are confirmed. By working together with our partners in the field, the EU hopes that we can nip this potential polio resurgence in the bud and spare the Syrian people from yet another source of suffering.
Through its humanitarian budget, the Commission has already committed €7 million to the WHO under our latest €250 million package. This brings our total allocation to the UN health organisation to €13.5 million since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. We stand ready to do more if needed.