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Ireland’s support to Syria crisis response exceeds €100 million

Budget/funding, Emergencies, News/feature, Syria, 2018


Ireland’s support to Syria crisis response exceeds €100 million

Ireland pledges €25 million in 2018

Ireland pledges further political and humanitarian support in response to the Syria crisis at the Brussels II Conference

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. and the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., today reiterated Ireland’s support for those most affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria. At a conference in Brussels on ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region’ today, Ireland pledged a further €25 million this year to help alleviate that suffering. 

This brings Ireland’s total contribution to the humanitarian response for the Syria crisis to over €100 million since 2012. 

Speaking ahead of the Brussels conference, the Tánaiste said:

“In 2018, we have witnessed the further deterioration of the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, an entirely man-made catastrophe. The continuing violence and suffering, including the reported chemical attack in Douma earlier this month, is simply appalling."

Condemning attacks on civilians and the blocking of humanitarian aid, the Tánaiste added: 

“The scale of the challenges to be addressed is enormous: that is why Syria is the focus of the largest ever Irish response to a single crisis.”

Concluding he said that:

“Solidarity alone does not address the root causes of the Syrian crisis. A peaceful resolution to the Syria conflict is now imperative, and Ireland fully supports UN-led political negotiations.”

Minister Cannon, who yesterday became a Malala champion for education in conflict, said:

"The Syrian people and countries of the region have a mountain to climb to move beyond this terrible crisis. Ireland has committed to providing multi-year, predictable humanitarian support to Syria and the region.  This will enable the partners with whom we work to plan and implement their critical programmes of assistance more effectively.”

Minister Cannon emphasised his personal commitment to addressing the education needs of children in conflict, noting that: “access to education is essential if they are to have hope for a better future.”


Press Office

25 April 2018


Notes to Editors

  • The Syria crisis is now in its eighth year and a political solution to the conflict is yet to be found; humanitarian needs are immense, population displacement persists and fighting continues in many parts of the country.  The conflict has triggered the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II.  Some 13.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 6.6 million people are internally displaced and 2.3 million are living in hard-to-reach and besieged areas, giving rise to grave protection concerns.  A further 5.6 million Syrians are displaced in neighbouring countries.


  • In 2018, the UN has appealed for over $9.1 billion to meet the needs of more than 20 million people inside and near to Syria, including refugees and host communities across the region. This includes $3.51 billion for the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), for response activities inside Syria, and $5.6 billion the Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), to meet the needs of Syrian refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries.   In 2017, the UN appealed for $7.7 billion, which was 57 percent funded. 


  • The second Brussels Conference ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region” is the annual international conference on Syria, following the three hosted by Kuwait from 2013 to 2015, the London Conference in 2016, and the first Brussels Conference last year. The aim of the Conference is to keep the response to the Syria crisis at the top of the international agenda and to secure further political and financial pledges for 2018 and beyond. 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 is co-chaired by Federica Mogherini, High Representative Vice President of the European Commission and Mark Lowcock, Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs at the UN. Brussels I's former Co-chairs (Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the United Kingdom) will play a special role during the Conference and its preparations.


  • Ireland pledged €25 million for 2017 at the first Brussels Conference and exceeded this commitment allocating almost €25.5 million to the crisis last year. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade contributed 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 over €108 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict in Syria. Already in 2018, funding of €15.5 million has been committed or disbursed to UN and Red Cross Partners for their Syria crisis response. Through its annual contributions to EU Institutions, Ireland also supports the EU’s humanitarian response in Syria. The EU and its member states are the single biggest donor to the Syria crisis having mobilised over €10.6 billion in humanitarian, stabilisation and resilience assistance since 2012.
  • In addition, Ireland continues to deploy members of its Rapid Response Corps to the 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.


  • Some 2.75 million Syrian children are out of school in Syria and in Syrian refugee-hosting countries. This includes 1 million out of 2.6 million refugee children, and an estimated 1.75 million school-aged children in Syria. Since 2015, Ireland has provided almost €3.5 million to UNICEF in support of the No Lost Generation Initiative - a joint framework for action that works to protect children, adolescent and youths from the threat of poverty through the provision of equitable educational and protection services within Syria and the refugee hosting countries of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. Minister of State Ciarán Cannon has also joined the Political Champions for Education in Conflict Group, initiated by the Nobel Laureate and UN Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai and which aims to secure concrete political, policy and funding commitments for education in conflict.


  • Ireland also recently pledged to double its funding to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – bringing Ireland’s contribution to €25 million over the next three years. The GPE brings together 60+ developing country governments, 20+ donors, international organizations, civil society, teacher organizations, the private sector and philanthropy to improve the lives of children and youth through quality education for all. Ireland is a founding member of the GPE and sits on its Board.  Ireland is the 12th largest donor to the GPE and has contributed €60.7 million since 2002 including annual contributions of €4 million for each of the past four years.