Monday 6 February 2017
Statement on the publication of the 'one year on' financial tracking report, from the co-hosts of the Supporting Syria & the Region London 2016 Conference.
1. One year ago, the international community and the governments of refugee-hosting countries came together for the Supporting Syria & the Region Conference in London. Unprecedented financial and policy commitments were made to help millions of internally displaced Syrians, Syrian refugees and the communities generously hosting them. A total of US$12 billion – the largest amount ever raised in a single day for a humanitarian crisis – was pledged in grants for 2016 and future years. Furthermore, $41 billion in loans were announced, many of which on highly concessional terms. The Governments of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey set ambitious targets to expand education and job opportunities for both Syrian refugees and host communities.
2. One year on, the grants have delivered vital humanitarian aid to millions of people in need in Syria and neighbouring countries, and the refugee hosting countries have made good progress on their commitments .
3. The London Conference co-hosts (Germany, Kuwait, Norway, the UK and the UN) have published today the second report on progress against the financial pledges made at the 2016 Syria Conference. This report covers both humanitarian and development funding to the crisis, and presents a breakdown of the grants and loans committed to date, by donor, recipient country and sector. It is the second report in the series and an important way to ensure transparency and accountability across donors to the Syrian crisis.
4. The report published today finds that:
• In 2016, donors contributed $8 billion in grants, exceeding the total grants pledged in London for 2016 by $2 billion.
• Of the $6.1 billion grants pledged for 2017-2020, $2.8 billion have already been committed, presenting almost half of the total pledged for this time-frame.
• In total, US$10.8 billion in grants have been contributed by donors since the conference for 2016 and the following years.
• Of the $41 billion loans pledged for 2016-2020, $12.6 billion of loans have so far been committed.
5. One year on, excellent progress has been made; the region has received more than what was pledged at the conference for 2016. Positive progress has been made also on the multi-year pledges. At the London conference 19 donors made pledges covering 2017-20 – nearly half of these pledges have been delivered.
6. Despite this progress and the pledge fulfillment for 2016, the 2016 UN-coordinated humanitarian Syria appeals were underfunded by nearly half. Escalating needs are reflected by the requirements of the 2017 UN-coordinated appeals – $4.63 billion for the region, and $3.4 billion for the humanitarian response in Syria. It is vital, therefore, that all donors maintain momentum on progress by ensuring the full disbursement of pledges and considering further commitments. Multi-year planning and funding allows all agencies, including humanitarian agencies, to plan ahead, and maintain continuity on policy commitments in the region. The London Conference co-hosts hope to see a significant increase in multi-year pledges in 2017.
7. The report shows also that the timely delivery of pledges is uneven amongst donors; many donors are delivering beyond their pledges, whilst others have not delivered fully or reported to this tracking process. The crisis is one that calls for international solidarity. As donors, we must all step up efforts. Co-hosts hope for additional donors to join in this effort.
8. One year on, some good progress has been made on the conference commitments by the refugee-hosting countries. Some examples are:
• 37,000 Syrians now have permits to work in Jordan, up from around 4,000 at the time of the London Conference.
• A further 23,000 children are enrolled in education for the 2016/17 school year in Jordan, bringing the total to an estimated 166,000 Syrian children currently in school.
• Lebanon has made huge progress in enrolling refugee children into its public schools. 203,000 Syrian children are now enrolled, compared with 150,000 in 2015/16, as well as increasing the enrolment of Lebanese children compared to last year.
• In Turkey, nearly half a million Syrians are enrolled in school, and 18,000 Syrian volunteer teachers underwent a comprehensive training package culminating in exams, just before the beginning of the new school year.
9. Donors and refugee-hosting country governments will need to continue to work together to sustain these efforts to support the Syria crisis and build resilience in the region.
Supporting the Political Transition
10. The Syrian conflict can only be ended through a negotiated political agreement on political transition. We state our continued commitment to support efforts to find a sustainable political solution that will bring an end to this crisis and create the conditions for Syrian refugees to return home voluntarily and safely.
11. We support efforts to maintain a full, nationwide ceasefire. It is important the ceasefire is monitored effectively and independently, and coordinated closely with the UN.
12. Without an effective ceasefire and a genuine political transition, humanitarian access remains our biggest challenge. As donors we have a genuine interest that the aid provided can be delivered to where it is needed. We are doing all that we can to ensure humanitarian access is afforded to the UN and that the response remains needs based and humanitarian focused. The international community must continue to call for unfettered humanitarian access and highlight violations of International Humanitarian Law to hold perpetrators, including the regime and its backers to account.
13. Looking forward, the co-hosts of the London conference welcome the EU hosting the 2017 Syria Conference in Brussels. This will be a crucial opportunity to keep global attention on this terrible conflict and its consequences. It is important to continue the momentum of delivery against all of the London conference commitments, in addition to presenting an opportunity for donors to mobilise funds for the 2017 appeals.