[EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, has invited representatives of 50 countries to come to Brussels on 5 April to discuss how to distribute the aid pledges made at the London Donors Conference in 2016 as well as to talk about the new pledges made by the international community to provide humanitarian aid in Syria and its impacted neighbouring countries. The region surrounding Syria has become the setting for one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 21st century. Roughly 13.5 million people in Syria depend on humanitarian aid and more than 5 million Syrians have had to flee their country- mostly to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. One of the topics addressed at the conference will therefore also be how to politically resolve the Syrian conflict. Secretary-General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Michael Linhart, will represent Austria at the donors conference. He emphasises Austria’s continued commitment to Syria and the region as follows:
“Austria continues to provide considerable financial aid to the afflicted people in Syria and to Syrian refugees in the most affected surrounding countries. We will provide 24.1 million euros in 2017 and a further 16 million euros in humanitarian aid for the years 2018/2019. On-site aid generally contributes to stabilising the region and is therefore also an important component in tackling the refugee crisis“.
The financial aid will provide support for women and children and also help to rebuild basic infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals. Since the outbreak of the crisis in 2012, Austria has provided 71 million euros in humanitarian aid to the region. During today’s Council of Ministers, Austria pledged a further 2 million euros in humanitarian aid for Syria and Iraq from its Foreign Disaster Fund, which made it possible already to help a total of around 3 million people. The additional 40 million euros for 2017-2019 will finance self-sufficiency via aid-in-cash schemes for over 100,000 people over a period of 10 months and will guarantee emergency care for just under 1 million people.
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