At the Supporting Syria and the Region conference which took place in London today, the EU and its Member States pledged over €3 billion to respond to the Syria crisis. The pledge triples the EU support offered at the last donor conference in Kuwait in March 2015, and comes on top of the €5 billion that the EU has already committed in response to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
The announcement was made by President of the European Council Donald Tusk and High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission Mogherini on behalf of the EU, at the international conference hosted by the United Kingdom with Germany, Norway, Kuwait and United Nations.
The focus of the conference is to foster support for Syrians in their country and refugees in neighbouring countries and address the longer-term stabilisation of the region.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, who also represented the EU at the conference, said: "The international community must continue to shoulder its global responsibility. We have demonstrated in concrete ways our moral commitment to the people of Syria. But humanitarians alone cannot solve the crisis. Long-term political solutions are needed. In the meantime, we are working to improve the link between humanitarian, stabilisation and development aid, in order to ensure sustainability and resilience of populations affected by the crisis."
Of the over €3 billion pledged by the EU, €445 million will be used in 2016 for life-saving assistance to people affected by the Syria crisis, both in Syria and neighbouring countries. The European Commission's humanitarian partners will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, such as safe drinking water, food, sanitation and hygiene, child protection activities and emergency items.
The conflict in Syria is ongoing for more than five years and has created an overwhelming humanitarian crisis. More than 13.5 million people inside Syria are in need of emergency assistance.
The continuous flow of Syrians seeking safety outside Syria's borders risks destabilising the neighbouring countries hosting the brunt of the refugees, notably Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, but also Iraq and Egypt.
The EU and its Member States collectively are leading the international response. Since the beginning of the crisis, the EU has provided over €5 billion for relief and recovery assistance. Today's announcement of over €3 billion adds to the EU's commitment in this crisis.
The EU's humanitarian aid is impartial and independent and goes to people in need, regardless of ethnic or religious considerations.