Monday, 22 September 2014

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UK pledges an additional £21 million in aid to help Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees

The UK government has pledged a further £21 million in aid to help Syrian refugees in Jordan and other neighbouring countries. International Development Secretary Justine Greening made the announcement while she was meeting with Syrian refugees near the Jordanian border.  "At next week’s Kuwait Conference, it is vital that the international community now gets behind the UN and turns vague promises into actual support. Warm words won’t provide the shelter and support that Syrian refugees need. Money will. That is why the UK will make a further commitment which will help to ensure this crisis does not get yet worse for the four million Syrians in desperate need as a result of the ongoing violence."  Ms Greening said, referring to the UN High Level pledging conference that will take place in Kuwait on Wednesday 30 April.

Half of the additional aid is aimed at supporting Jordan with the growing number of Syrian refugees, as thousands continue to cross its borders daily. The remaining funds will provide vital aid to those affected by the crisis in Syria and across the region. This will help provide refugees in the region with vital supplies such as tents and blankets while winter continues, as well as helping to treat tens of thousands of critically injured and sick people inside Syria.

The harsh winter conditions in Syria and neighbouring countries affect children especially. As UNICEF Regional Emergency Adviser Bastien Vigneau said during an interview “about 40 families are sharing one toilet and one shower. Because of the cold and humid, harsh weather, many children are falling sick with acute respiratory infection.” Mr Vigneau also reported children dropping out of school as they have to flee from their hometowns and could not go to other schools as those are already overcrowded. To support UNICEF in alleviating the situation for children, Justine Greening has given one million pounds, out of the £21 million, to UNICEF.

With the additional £21 million pledge the UK has provided a total of £89.5 million in humanitarian aid for Syria.

Additional links
•    Announcement of Justine Greening
•    Interview with Bastien Vigneau
•    UNICEF