Syria: EU biggest donor, leading international aid response and reaching 7 million people in need

Responding to the unprecedented humanitarian needs in and around Syria, the EU has so far mobilised almost €1.8 billion in relief and recovery aid from both the Commission and Member States, making it the largest international contribution accounting for a significant proportion of the overall global funding.
European assistance reaches up to 80% of the population affected by the crisis and brings concrete and tangible results that make a difference for those affected by the Syria crisis and is having an immediate impact:
·       Over 7 million people affected by the crisis have been sheltered in temporary housing and adequate shelter and receive households items, kitchen sets, blankets, stoves, fuel, etc., in particular during the upcoming cold winter period in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
·       At least 4.6 million people affected by the crisis in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq are receiving emergency food assistance through different modalities, such as food rations, food vouchers or cash assistance.
·       At least 780,000 children in Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, many in refugee camps or internally displaced, are receiving school education, adapted to the Syrian curriculum so that they can continue their schooling. In 2014, an additional 1.8 million children affected by the crisis will be able to continue accessing education.
·       More than 10,000 teachers are being trained in teaching methods or psycho-social support in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to help them teach and support the affected children more effectively. In 2014, nearly 4,000 additional teachers will receive training.
·       A special focus on people with specific vulnerabilities when exposed to conflict and violence such as women, children, the elderly, migrants or persons with disabilities is helping 300,000 children and women with protection, specialised psycho-social and Gender-Based Violence support.
·       85 local civil society organisations that are providing services to the displaced population both in Syria and in the neighbouring countries are strengthened to improve the resilience capacity of local communities. Support is provided to 400 activists, bloggers and journalists to promote social cohesion and ensure that Syrians are able to access free and independent information regarding the crisis. Next year, an additional 700 will be supported and trained.
EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said: The Syrian civil war has created a humanitarian catastrophe the likes of which we have not seen in decades, with children accounting for more than half of its victims. Europe is making a huge effort to help all those in dire need but even with the extraordinary sums we are raising it is not enough. I urge all donors to dig deeper. But money is not the only problem: access to those most in need is restricted and aid workers are attacked. All parties to the conflict must respect International Humanitarian Law.”
Commissioner responsible for the EU Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, said: "The EU stands by the Syrian people who need all the help they can get in this dramatically worsening crisis. Apart from covering the basic humanitarian needs we make great efforts to help in providing education to Syrian children and support also for neighbouring countries which come under enormous economic and social pressures by hosting ever increasing number of Syria refugees. We will continue supporting Syrian people and our partners in this difficult time.”
The total number of people affected by the civil war in Syria and in need of help is approaching the unprecedented number of 9 million, almost half of the entire population. This makes the Syria crisis the largest humanitarian emergency in decades.
Within Syria, more than 6.8 million people are now in need of immediate assistance including an estimated 5 million internally displaced. In addition, the number of refugees who have fled from the war in Syria into neighbouring countries has surpassed the appalling milestone of 2 million. More than half of all those refugees are children. With violence becoming ever more ferocious, brutal and inhumane, the tide of refugees is bound to continue to rise. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Read more
Press release
European Commission – Factsheet - The European Union and Syria (June 2013)
European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – Syrian crisis factsheet (August 2013)
European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection webpage – Syria crisis
EU Response to the Syrian Crisis - Lebanon 
EU response to the Syrian crisis – Jordan
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage – Syria
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