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EU steps up aid for Syria crisis

The European Commission claimed yesterday that it has successfully delivered the €200 million humanitarian aid package for the Syria Crisis, and Iraq, which was announced in September by President Juncker.

As part of the €200 million package, the European Commission is today stepping up its assistance to Iraq with €40 million and to Turkey with €20 million in humanitarian funding to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis

“The EU is delivering on its commitment to support the most vulnerable people affected by the Syria crisis both inside Syria and in the region. Iraq’s humanitarian situation should not be overlooked: it could become another Syria, if we do not mobilise sufficient support and assistance. Humanitarian aid and protection have a strategic value for Iraq’s future efforts for reconciliation.”said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Apart from the new funding for Iraq and Turkey, the €200 million package includes already announced allocations for Syria (€62 million), Lebanon (€43 million), Jordan (€28 million) and the Western Balkans (€7 million). Funding has been channelled through the United Nations, International Organisations, and international NGO partners, and is responding to life-threatening needs in the areas of food aid, health, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as shelter and protection.

The EU is the leading donor to the Syria crisis with around €4.4 billion from the EU and Member States collectively in humanitarian, development, economic and stabilisation assistance.

On 23 September 2015, the Commission announced a proposal to increase its humanitarian budget by €200 million for 2015 and €300 million for 2016 for the Syria crisis. Member States have pledged to match the Commission funding, bringing the total additional EU contribution to €1 billion over 2015-16.

In Iraq, the additional €40 million announced today will deliver impartial, lifesaving assistance to both most vulnerable Iraqi internally displaced people and Syrian refugees in the country. The support will help those populations who have been forced to leave their homes to flee the escalating conflict, with essential food, protection, health and water, sanitation and hygiene items.

For Turkey, in addition to other EU support measures, the Commission’s humanitarian funding is supporting vulnerable refugees who have fled violence in both Syria and Iraq, in particular refugees living outside of camps.
The EU’s humanitarian aid is impartial and independent. It goes to people in need regardless of ethnic or religious origins, in full accordance with International Humanitarian Law.

The Commission’s humanitarian aid provides lifesaving assistance to millions of Syrians in need.
The Commission’s funding gives about 2 million Syrians access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene items, 850 000 people receives food, 350 000 children are part of child protection programmes and 1 million person receives non-food items and shelter.

In addition, through the efforts of dedicated humanitarian partners working in the field of health, the Commission’s humanitarian funding is supporting over 1.15 million Syrian refugees with the provision of life-saving health assistance and medical care including vaccination programmes of children.

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