The European Commission will pledge an extra €165 million for the 2014 response to the Syrian crisis, boosting humanitarian assistance, education and support for host communities. The announcement comes ahead of the International Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait on 15 January.
This will bring the Commission's total funding since the start of the crisis to over €1.1 billion, including €615 million in life saving humanitarian aid alone. Before leaving for the Conference in Kuwait, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said:
"Unfortunately this is for the second year in a row that I will be attending a vital pledging conference for Syria. The Syrian people continue to endure a tragic ordeal. The numbers of refugees and internally displaced people have increased four and five-fold respectively in the past twelve months.People who have remained inside Syria, where violence and death are a daily occurrence, are fighting for survival. Those who have fled across the borders are dealing with extreme hardships, in spite of the unfaltering generosity of their hosts who are also reeling under the burden of the never-ending flow of refugees, now over 2.3 million.
"In Kuwait I will use this opportunity to encourage additional pledges from the international community. The European Union as a whole has been the largest donor to this crisis, providing more than €2 billion to date.I hope that other donors will demonstrate their solidarity with the innocent victims of this war".
The additional funding will boost life-saving assistance both inside Syria and in the heavily-burdened neighbouring countries. It includes emergency medical care to the wounded and the traumatised, especially children; provision of food and water; registration and protection of refugees. Aid will continue to be provided to the displaced and refugees - who often arrive destitute – as well as to their host communities, whose resources are now stretched to breaking point.
The assistance will be channelled through the European Commission's humanitarian partners: UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent family and international non-governmental organisations.