Helping Syrians in Need
Enlarge image Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (© picture alliance / Sven Simon)
Germany is providing humanitarian aid for the victims of the conflict in Syria. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle stressed how important it was to prevent a humanitarian disaster. The German Government has provided 11.5 million euros to date for humanitarian aid. In Jordan, Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning has seen for himself how the refugees from Syria are faring.
Speaking on July 27, Minister Westerwelle noted that “our assistance includes food, medical care and water, that is to say those things which are most needed at present.” The German Government is funding medical care for the victims of the conflict in Syria as well as food supplies in the conflict zones. It is also helping to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.
The ongoing violence in Syria has forced over a million people to flee their homes; most are still living as displaced persons in Syria. According to German Government estimates, approximately 130,000 people have sought shelter in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. It was vital to join forces with the countries harbouring the refugees to prevent a refugee disaster, Westerwelle noted on July 24.
Assistance for Refugees
Enlarge image Children in the Za’atari refugee camp near the Syrian border in Jordan. (© picture alliance / ZUMAPRESS.com) Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, went to Jordan on July 31 to see how the Syrian refugees there were faring. After visiting the Za’atari refugee camp near the Syrian border, he praised Jordan’s efforts to relieve their plight. “The way in which the Jordanians have taken in more than 100,000 refugees from Syria deserves our admiration and support,” Löning commented after touring two camps and a hospital.
He appealed to the international community to do even more to improve conditions in the refugee camps. “It is crucial to ensure that the children, women and men fleeing the violence in Syria are given shelter and looked after,” he emphasized.
Germany is helping to get the Za’atari refugee camp in Mafraq province, near the Syrian border, up and running. The Federal Agency for Technical Relief is installing the entire water supply for the camp, which will be able to accommodate up to 120,000 refugees. The Federal Foreign Office is funding the project with 400,000 euros from its humanitarian aid budget.
European Commission doubles funding for humanitarian aid
The European Union is helping as well. In the light of the escalating violence, the European Commission announced on July 23 that it was doubling its humanitarian aid for Syria from 20 million to 40 million euros. EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva described the increase as a very practical manifestation of solidarity with the Syrian people, who were suffering greatly from the conflict in their country.