Wien, 20. November 2012 Press release

Spindelegger: "Austria reacts on aggravation of humanitarian crisis in Syria"

Vice-Chancellor announces increase of humanitarian aid for Syria

Vienna, 20 November 2012 – Austria is again going to substantially increase its humanitarian aid for Syria which is ravaged by armed conflict. "In view of the dramatic humanitarian situation which is becoming more dire with the onset of winter, we are going to add another 800,000 euros to the two million euros provided so far", Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger announced on 20 November after the meeting of the Ministerial Council.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, the additional funds will be provided to the International Federation of the Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to help the internally displaced people in Syria. The funds will be used mainly for emergency medical aid and for the distribution of food and the most urgently required necessities for life, such as hygiene packages.

Spindelegger also said that the humanitarian crisis is becoming even more serious as fighting is being intensified and increased. A growing number of people are being displaced from their residential areas. The numbers mentioned by the United Nations illustrate the drastic situation: 2.5 million people depend on humanitarian aid. The conflict has forced 1.2 million people, 46% of them children, to leave their homes. Over 400,000 people have been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The number of people in need is going to increase even further with the onset of winter. A large number of internally displaced people is staying in camps that are not winterproof.

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