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Australian assistance for Syria reaches $100 million

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Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, and Minister for International Development, Melissa Parke MP, today announced a further $21.5 million in humanitarian assistance for people affected by the deteriorating situation in Syria.

This brings Australia’s total humanitarian assistance in response to the crisis in Syria to $100 million since June 2011. Australia remains one of the top ten donors to those in need in Syria and regional countries hosting Syrian refugees.

‘Violence and human suffering continue unabated in Syria with over 93,000 killed and 6.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance,’ Minister Carr said.

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.

‘Many vulnerable people need urgent help,’ said Minister Parke. ‘This additional Australian assistance will benefit people inside Syria and also those who have fled to neighbouring countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.’

Inside Syria, Australia’s new contribution will help United Nations organisations deliver desperately needed basic services.

  • $5 million to World Food Programme will help maintain emergency food supplies to three million people
  • $3 million to World Health Organisation will help address critical shortages in medical supplies
  • $3 million to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will help ensure drinking water is safe and 2.5 million children are vaccinated
  • $1 million to the UN Population Fund will help provide reproductive health care and psycho-social support for over 1 million vulnerable women and children.
  • ‘The crisis is destabilising the region. Our contribution will help ease the suffering and go some way to reduce the burden of sheltering these refugees,’ Minister Carr said.
  • $5 million to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) will help protect and shelter one million refugees in Jordan and Lebanon
  • $4 million to Australian NGOs will help their lifesaving work among Syrian refugees
  • $0.5m will support the deployment of Australian expertise in aid coordination.

Minister Parke also appealed to Australians to continue to support the work of accredited Australian NGOs in direct donations. ‘Australian NGOs are doing magnificent work supporting the victims affected by the Syrian conflict. Additional funding from the Australia government is our contribution to these efforts.’

Information on Australian NGO appeals for the Syrian crisis can be found at: http://www.acfid.asn.au/aid-issues/humanitarian-response

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