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Syria crisis: EU mobilises renewed international support, record overall pledge of €8.3 billion for 2019 and beyond

Commissioner Stylianides speaking at the Brussels III Conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” © EU

From 12-14 March 2019 the European Union and the United Nations co-chaired the Brussels III Conference. As well as renewing support to a lasting political solution to end the Syria crisis, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, the Conference addressed the most critical humanitarian and resilience issues affecting Syrians inside their country and refugees and their host communities in particular in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The Conference succeeded in mobilising pledges totalling €8.3 billion for 2019-20 and beyond, out of which €6.2 billion is for 2019 and multiyear pledges close to €2.1 billion. Of the overall pledge, around two thirds come from the European Union which has contributed a total of €6.79 billion: €2.57 billion from the EU budget managed by the European Commission and €4.22 billion from EU Member States. Out of the €2.57 billion from EU budget, €2.01 billion is committed for 2019 while €560 million has already been committed for 2020 for people in need inside Syria and in the region.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "Our goal remains the same: a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process, facilitated by the United Nations, to establish an inclusive and non-sectarian governance for a united Syria. This is what we are all trying to work for and this is also the main reason why we convened the Brussels Conference. All of us must use our leverage to relaunch the Geneva negotiations and put an end to the war in Syria. Freezing the conflict at its current stage is not a solution."

Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Hahn said: “A whole generation that has no experience of what is ‘normal' still needs us. The EU, as the leading global donor for this crisis, will continue to support Syria's neighbours to strengthen resilience and their economies. We will step up investment in education, healthcare and regular employment so refugees become more self-reliant and can live in dignity and normality”.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides added: "Inside Syria, the humanitarian situation remains a nightmare for millions of people. The EU is doing all it can to support our partners to deliver aid, but access remains a serious problem. We continue to call on all parties to allow lifesaving aid to reach people in need. We are committed to help the Syrian people for as long as it takes."

The situation inside Syria remains critical, with 11.7 million Syrians in need of protection and humanitarian assistance. A further 5.6 million Syrian refugees are in neighbouring countries.

EU support for the Syria crisis

The EU and its Member States are the largest donor addressing the consequences of the Syrian crisis. They have mobilised around €17 billion since the beginning of the crisis in 2011 in overall support through the Commission and Member States.

EU support has helped more than 4 million people with health assistance and thousands of children with education emergency programmes. One million people received essential items and shelter and 850 000 people have received food. More than 2 million people have been reached via the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis.  Increasingly, efforts are geared at strengthening national systems for service provision with a view to ensuring that the response of the international community is sustainable, and at helping the countries that host vast numbers of refugees create economic growth and livelihoods for the benefit of their citizens and for refugees.

In line with the strategic objectives laid down in the 2017 EU Strategy for Syria, which frames clear lines of action on all the dimensions of the crisis, Brussels III shows the EU's constant engagement to keep the Syrian people and the future of Syria at the top of the international agenda.

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