The unrest in Syria has led more than 1.6 million Syrians to seek refuge in the refugee-hosting countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt, resulting in significant humanitarian needs. It is estimated that 6.8 million people, close to one third of the entire population of Syria, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Approximately 93,000 people have died in the ongoing conflict, with thousands more wounded. These numbers are increasing as the conflict continues and the humanitarian crisis worsens in the country.
The Government of Canada is committed to helping address the needs of the innocent civilians aversely impacted by the Syrian crisis. To this end, prior to G-8 Leaders’ discussions today at the Lough Erne Summit in Northern Ireland – which will include talks on Syria – Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $115 million in new support that will help address the humanitarian and development challenges being generated by the civil war both in Syria and in neighbouring countries receiving refugees.
More specifically, the new support will be directed towards:
In response to UN and International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement humanitarian appeals for Syria and neighbouring countries in 2013, Canada will contribute $90 million to humanitarian organizations to provide urgent assistance including the provision of food, clean water and sanitation, emergency health care, shelter, and protection for conflict-affected populations in Syria and the refugee-hosting countries in the region, such as Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.
With this announcement, Canada has allocated more than $158.5 million in humanitarian assistance efforts in Syria and neighbouring countries since 2012, including $135 million in 2013.
This includes $15.35 million that Canada contributed in March 2013, as part of the previous UN appeals from December 2012, to the following humanitarian organizations to provide humanitarian assistance in this rapidly evolving crisis:
Inside Syria ($6 million)
- $5 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for food assistance
- $1 million with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for essential basic household items and emergency shelter
In Neighbouring Countries ($9.35 million)
- $ 3.85 million with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) allocated per country as follows: $1.22 million for Lebanon, $1.5 million for Jordan, $450,000 for Turkey, $450,000 for Iraq and $230,000 for Egypt for the provision of essential basic household items, emergency shelter and protection
- $ 2.5 million with the World Food Programme (WFP) allocated per country as follows: $430,000 for Lebanon, $1.4 million for Jordan, $420,000 for Iraq and $250,000 for Egypt for the provision of food assistance
- $ 2.0 million with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) allocated per country as follows: $1.2 million for Jordan, and $800,000 for Iraq for the provision of health services, immunization, nutrition support, water and sanitation, education and winter supplies
- $ 1 million with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) allocated per country as follows : $100,000 for Lebanon, $150,000 for Jordan, $500,000 for Iraq and $250,000 for Turkey for the provision of essential basic household items, transportation assistance, healthcare and on-the-job training and vocational skills training
An additional $25 million will be provided to Jordan, Lebanon and other neighbouring countries to build resilience of government services and infrastructure, including in health, education and the delivery of basic services currently under severe stress because of the influx of Syrian refugees. This support – in response to appeals for assistance by the Governments of Jordan and Lebanon – is in addition to the $100 million in support announced by Minister John Baird on June 16, 2013.
Despite tremendous obstacles, humanitarian partners have achieved results inside Syria and in neighbouring countries hosting refugees. For example, thanks to support from Canada and other donors:
- emergency food assistance was provided to 2.25 million people in Syria in April by the United Nations World Food Programme;
- in Jordan, more than 120,000 Syrian refugees in Al Za’atri camp received food assistance. In addition, the United Nations World Food Programme is reaching more than 5,000 school children on a daily basis through the school feeding program;
- in Lebanon, more than 335,000 children (including 58,000 Syrian refugees) have been vaccinated against measles through UNICEF’s vaccination campaign;
- UNICEF has provided 97,916 children in Turkey with support in education and recreational programmes so far in 2013; and
- in Iraq, the International Organization for Migration has distributed non-food relief items to 28,000 crisis-affected people.