Published On: Thu, Jul 25th, 2013

Australia pledges $21.5 million more to help people affected by the conflict in Syria

syria-300Australia is providing a further $21.5 million in humanitarian assistance for people affected by the deteriorating situation in Syria, bringing our total contribution to $100 million. This maintains Australia’s position as one of the top ten donors in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the region.

Deepening conflict in Syria is resulting in massive displacement and an escalation of humanitarian needs. More than 93,000 people have been killed and over 6.8 million people inside Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 4.2 million internally displaced. The impact on the region is grave and 1.8 million refugees, mostly women and children, have already fled Syria. A refugee exodus of this size has not been seen since the Rwandan genocide almost 20 years ago.

International Development Minister Melissa Parke said Australia’s funding will provide urgent lifesaving assistance to people suffering inside Syria and relief to those who have fled to neighbouring countries.

Inside Syria, $12 million of our new contribution will help United Nations organisations deliver desperately needed basic services.

  • The World Food Programme will avoid a break in its supply lines and feed 3 million people.
  • The World Health Organization will reach up to 2 million people and address critical shortages in medical supplies.
  • UNICEF will ensure drinking water is safe and 2.5 million children are vaccinated.
  • The UN Population Fund will provide reproductive health care and psycho-social support for over 1 million women and children who are internally displaced and vulnerable.

The crisis has become a regional one and $9.5 million of our contribution will help ease the suffering of the 1.8 million refugees, mostly women and children, who have fled Syria. It will also reduce the burden on the communities sheltering these refugees. Australian assistance to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR—$5 million) will help protect, sustain and house 1 million refugees.

Funding will also support Australian expertise in aid coordination and allow Australian NGOs to continue to provide assistance to Syrian refugees and their host communities. A further $4 million will be provided to support the work of Australian humanitarian NGOs in the region: CARE, Caritas, Oxfam and Save The Children are already receiving Australian Government funding for this work.


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