Ireland has pledged a further €25 million to the Syrian crisis for 2017, at a recent high-level pledging conference in Brussels. As conflict continues to ravage the country, leaving over 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, the Government of Ireland has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the many victims caught up in this crisis.
Minister of State Joe McHugh T.D. represented the Government at the “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” conference and announced that Ireland will provide at least €25 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the Syria crisis in 2017. In the press release welcoming the funding announcement, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D. said,
“The conflict in Syria has now entered its seventh year. Its impact has been catastrophic, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced or affected by violence. This important pledge will help to ensure that lifesaving assistance reaches Syrians affected by the crisis, both inside Syria and those displaced in neighbouring countries.”
This latest funding announcement demonstrates Ireland’s continuing commitment to supporting those affected by the crisis in Syria. The minimum €25 million pledged for 2017 represents a 25 percent increase from our 2016 pledge at the London conference (€20 million) and matches Ireland’s final contribution to the crisis in 2016 (€25.1 million). The displacement of millions of men, women and children inside Syria and the flight of millions to neighbouring countries underlines the appalling suffering caused by the conflict. This is why Ireland has been a strong and consistent donor to the Syria crisis since 2012, exemplified by the €76.5 million in humanitarian assistance which we have provided to its victims so far.
The magnitude of humanitarian need remains overwhelming in all parts of Syria, and Ireland’s humanitarian support is provided to a range of partners both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. Ireland’s funding supports UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, trusted partners who can ensure that Irish funding reaches those who need it most, including in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. The main priorities are treating the wounded and the sick, providing food aid, water, sanitation, health and shelter, and access to education and protection. Within Syria, civilians continue to be the primary victims of the conflict and children, women and the elderly are most at risk. Horrific crimes, including sexual violence, enforced disappearances and summary executions continue to be perpetrated against all sections of the population. That is why Ireland is committed to working with its partners to ensure that our assistance meets urgent needs, and it is why immediate humanitarian relief to those inside Syria must continue.
Speaking at the pledging conference, Minister of State McHugh shared his impressions from his recent visit to Jordan and Lebanon, where he had the opportunity to meet Syrians who had fled the conflict and to see first-hand the vital support Ireland is providing in the region:
“On my very recent trip to Lebanon and Jordan, I heard from families affected by the crisis. Despite its harrowing impacts on their lives, these families have not lost hope that someday soon they will be able to rebuild Syria and become a generation of recovery, instead of a generation of suffering. It is important that Ireland continues to provide sustainable assistance that meets the immediate needs of these affected families, while also supporting them to build resilient and independent futures.”