Brussels, Belgium, June 15, 2023 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) welcomes the pledges made today at the VII EU-hosted Brussels Conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region,’ yet the amount still falls far short of covering the severe level of needs on the ground.
Tanya Evans, the IRC’s Country Director in Syria, said, At yesterday’s day of dialogue, international NGOs and Syrian civil society made it very clear that the humanitarian situation inside Syria is critical. While we welcome the amounts pledged today - including the significant commitments made by the EU, US and Germany - the total of €5.6 billion is far from enough to cover the escalating level of needs in Syria and the region.
“Once again donors recognised that the protracted nature of the conflict in Syria requires a collective stepping up of early recovery efforts, which aim to restore basic services and reduce people’s dependency on aid. Over the next 12 months, it’s essential that we see these commitments become a reality, enabling millions of people in Syria to start rebuilding their lives.
“Finally, policymakers must use the political momentum generated by this conference to rally support for the reauthorisation of UN-led cross-border aid in the UN Security Council before it is due to expire on 10 July. This will not only provide a vital lifeline to millions of Syrians in the northwest of the country, but to many Syrian NGOs who are at the heart of all efforts to bring about genuine recovery.”
David Miliband, President and CEO of the IRC, said, “While overall pledges to Syria were down this year, it is important to note the commitments by the German and US governments in particular. This is the US’ largest humanitarian funding announcement to the Syria response to date. Today’s diplomatic momentum needs to carry through to the entire UN Security Council as they vote on cross border aid next month, ensuring the reauthorization of life-saving cross-border aid routes for 12 months at minimum. Humanitarian realities on the ground must drive Security Council action, not politics, particularly after the devastating earthquake earlier this year which plunged millions of Syrians into even deeper crisis. Now is the time for more aid and the means to deliver it, not less, allowing life-saving aid to flow now and recovery efforts to scale up, helping Syrians to rebuild their lives after more than a decade of conflict.”
The IRC has been calling for the EU to seize this opportunity to mobilise donors to ramp up funding for Syria and neighbouring countries, working towards a lasting political solution to the crisis, and people to begin rebuilding their lives.
The IRC has been working in Syria since 2012, responding to needs in northwest and northeast Syria. The IRC promotes economic recovery with job training, apprenticeships and small business support. Our teams support early childhood development and provide counseling and protection services for women and children, particularly for survivors of violence. We support health facilities and mobile health teams with critical trauma services and primary, reproductive and mental health services. Our cholera response includes provision of essential supplies for cholera prevention, control and treatment; training of clinical staff and community health workers on case detection, management and referral; as well as health education and hygiene awareness through house-to-house visits. We also support Syrian refugees in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan