Ploumen: EUR 17 million in extra emergency aid for victims of Syria crisis

The Netherlands is making an extra EUR 17 million available for emergency aid to the victims of the crisis in Syria. This was announced by foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen on Wednesday, the final day of her visit to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.

In both countries, the minister spoke to refugees, aid workers from the Red Cross, UN and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), ministers and local government officials. She visited official and unofficial refugee camps, hospitals and privately-run reception centres. ‘I’m impressed by the professionalism of the aid workers here,’ the minister commented. ‘Without their help, what would the situation be like? It doesn’t bear thinking about. At the same time, there are alarming shortages of almost everything, and yet the number of refugees is rising all the time. It’s appalling. They really do need extra help!’

According to the United Nations, USD 4.4 billion is needed this year to provide emergency aid for the four million displaced people in Syria and over two million refugees in the neighbouring countries. So far, not even half of this sum has been donated by the international community.

The latest Dutch contribution comes on top of the EUR 42 million the Netherlands has made available in emergency aid for victims of the crisis in Syria. In addition, organisations like the UN, the EU and the International Red Cross are using the Dutch government’s annual contributions to provide aid in and around Syria.