Vienna, 30 November 2022- The conflict in Syria, which has lasted more than 10 years, has created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. The precarious situation on the ground is becoming more intense, and there is no political solution to the conflict in sight. That makes it impossible to consistently rebuild the destroyed infrastructure and revive the economy. In order to ease the suffering in Syria and its neighbouring country, Jordan, and to prevent further migration into Europe, the Austrian government is providing a total of 8 million euros from the Foreign Ministry’s Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad (AKF).
“The precarious situation in Syria and Jordan remains unchanged, even after decades of conflict. The local population’s suffering is unbearable. Austria is fulfilling its humanitarian responsibility by providing aid organisations with a total of 8 million euros from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad. That allows us to provide aid directly on the ground and prevent even more people from undertaking the dangerous journey to Europe,” said Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
At least 14.6 million people in Syria are dependent on humanitarian aid; about one-third of them are children. This state of ongoing humanitarian suffering has led to a massive movement of refugees. An estimated 8 to 9 million people have fled the country since the start of the conflict, and 6.9 million people have been internally displaced. The humanitarian situation is also tense in Jordan – with around 760,000 displaced persons, 89 percent of them from Syria, the country has the second-highest share of refugees per capita. That poses many challenges for Jordan as well.
“The people in Syria, Jordan, and the region have suffered from the ongoing hostile conflicts for more than 10 years. The lack of access to basic supplies, clean water, power, and functioning healthcare facilities presents a threat to the population on a daily basis. Currently, more than 14 million people in Syria are reliant on humanitarian aid, including more than 6 million children. That is precisely the aid that we must now provide, and we are guaranteeing it with today’s resolution. The 8 million euros from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad will ensure fast support without red tape,” explained Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler.
Of the 8 million euros, 2 million will go to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and 2 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as 1 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for Syria. Another 2 million euros will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and 1 million to Austrian non-governmental organisations in Jordan.
“The humanitarian situation in Syria is still devastating, even after a decade of death, destruction, and unspeakable suffering. Common humanity requires us to provide aid on site without red tape so the people can access clean water, power, and functional healthcare facilities. It will also prevent even more people from setting out on the dangerous journey to Europe, which further fuels the cruel human trafficking trade,” concluded Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.