07/03/2013 - The humanitarian situation in Syria has continued to worsen over the past weeks as violence intensifies and fighting continues throughout the country. The winter conditions and their consequences have also exacerbated the situation. Displacements within the country and beyond the borders are increasing.
The UN announced today that refugee numbers have increased by one third since the beginning of the year, and have now reached 1 million (Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and North Africa). Within Syria, more than 4 million people are in need of immediate assistance including 3 million internally displaced (these figures are likely to be underestimates).
Despite the funding available, the authorities and the international community are struggling because of the sheer number of people crossing the border on a daily basis – now estimated at 7,000 a day.
In total, the European Commission has now mobilised €200 million from the humanitarian budget line. A further €123 million has been provided through other EU instruments. EU Member States have also provided over €400 million in humanitarian aid to Syrians affected by the conflict (including the pledges at the Kuwait Conference totalling over €172 million). Many Member States – Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Slovakia, Austria and Luxembourg – as well as Norway, have also provided in-kind assistance through the EU Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC).
The EU continues to appeal to the international community to follow its example and to honour the pledges of €1.5 billion made at the Kuwait Conference in January in order to provide the vital humanitarian assistance needed for this ever increasing number of refugees – now 1 in 20 of the Syrian population.