Ireland promises to provide a minimum of €25 million to help Syria this year
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan T.D. and the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D., announced today Ireland’s pledge of €25 million in 2017 to support those affected by the Syria crisis. The announcement was made at the “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” conference in Brussels, hosted by the European Union, the United Nations, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the UK, where Minister McHugh is representing the government.
Commenting on Ireland’s pledge of financial support, Minister Flanagan stated:
“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.
Ireland condemns the grave atrocities that innocent civilians continue to endure, and calls on all parties to the conflict to uphold their responsibilities under the terms of the ceasefire and international law. I remain confident in the efforts of the international community to support Syria to find a peaceful resolution to this brutal war.”
Today’s conference is the fifth in a series of high-level pledging conferences held in response to the Syria crisis and follows on from commitments of over $12 billion made at last year’s London conference. In addition to financial support, the conference will discuss ways of effectively supporting an end to violence in Syria and means of achieving a peaceful political transition.
Speaking at the conference today, Minister of State McHugh said:
“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. Today, I am pleased to announce that Ireland will pledge a minimum of 25 million euros in response to the Syria crisis in 2017, a 25 percent increase on our pledge of €20m in 2016, reaffirming Ireland’s solidarity with the Syrian people. We will continue to work with our UN, Red Cross and Red Crescent and NGO partners to ensure that Ireland’s funding reaches those who need it most, including inside Syria, in areas still hard to reach, as well as in neighbouring countries, in support of those forced to flee their homes due to violence, risks and hardships.”
04 April 2017
Notes to Editors
- The Syria crisis is now in its seventh year and a political solution to the conflict in Syria is yet to be found; humanitarian needs are immense, population displacement persists and fighting continues in many parts of the country. The conflict in Syria has triggered the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, some 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 6.3 million people are internally displaced and 4.9 million are living in hard-to-reach and besieged areas, giving rise to grave protection concerns. A further 4.8 million Syrians are displaced in neighbouring countries.
- In 2017, the UN has appealed for over $8.9 billion to meet the needs of more than 23 million people inside and near to Syria, including refugees and host communities across the region. This includes the $3.4 billion for Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), for response activities inside Syria, and $5.5 billion the Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), to meet the needs of Syrian refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries. In 2016, the UN appealed for $7.7 billion, which was 57 percent funded.
- The Brussels pledging conference ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region’ will follow on from previous pledging conferences in Kuwait (2013, 2014 and 2015) and London (2016). The one day conference will reflect on funding commitments made at the 2016 conference and ways of ensuring continued multiannual support to the crisis. The conference will look at the best ways to support a lasting political solution to the Syria crisis through an inclusive and Syrian-led political transition process based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, particularly UNSC Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué.
- The conference will be co-chaired by Federica Mogherini, High Representative Vice President of the European Commission; Stephen O’Brien, Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs at the UN; Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor for Foreign Affairs, Germany; Sheikh Sabah Khaled Alhamad Alsabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kuwait; Borge Brende, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Norway; Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar; and Boris Johnson, Secretary for Foreign and Common Wealth Affairs, UK.
- Ireland pledged €20 million for 2016 at the London pledging conference and exceeded this commitment by 25%, allocating just over €25 million to the crisis. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade contributed just over €19 million to the UN, Red Cross and NGO partners, while the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine allocated €6 million to the UN’s World Food Programme Syria Response.
- Since 2012, Ireland has provided €76.5 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict in Syria. In 2016, Ireland provided just over €25 million. Through our annual contributions to EU Institutions, Ireland also supports the EU’s humanitarian response in Syria, from which €445 million was contributed in 2016.
- In addition, Ireland continues to deploy members of its Rapid Response Corps to the Balkans and Middle East to provide critical surge capacity to UN agencies responding to migration challenges resulting from the Syrian conflict. Since 2012, a total of 45 Rapid Response Corps members have been deployed to support the Syria crisis response.