Thursday 4 February 2016
The UK will invest at least an extra £1.2bn in international aid to support Syria and the region, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced today.
The pledge was made on the day high-level representatives from 70 countries and international organisations around the world were due in London to debate support for the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales gave his support to the aims of the conference by attending a reception held last night
The UK has already pledged £1.12bn in the region, making it the second biggest bi-lateral donor in the world. Today’s announcement will see an extra £1.2bn-plus being spent between 2016 and 2020, taking the UK’s total investment to more than £2.3bn.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “With hundreds of thousands of people risking their lives crossing the Aegean or the Balkans, now is the time to take a new approach to the humanitarian disaster in Syria.
“Today’s pledge of more than £2.3bn in UK aid sets the standard for the international community – more money is needed to tackle this crisis and it is needed now.
“But the conference today is about more than just money. Our new approach of using fundraising to build stability, create jobs and provide education can have a transformational effect in the region – and create a future model for humanitarian relief.
“And we can provide the sense of hope needed to stop people thinking they have no option but to risk their lives on a dangerous journey to Europe.”
The Supporting Syria and the Region Conference is being co-hosted in London by the UK, Germany, Norway, Kuwait and the United Nations.
It will aim to raise billions of dollars in international aid, with the current UN appeal standing at more than $7bn.
It will also aim to build economic opportunities, creating job opportunities for refugees and host country citizens alike. And it will seek to put all refugee children in education by 2017 – along with vulnerable children in the three host countries.
In addition, the conference will aim to make lives better for those still remaining in Syria, by funding food, shelter and healthcare, and rebuilding health facilities.
The conference is expected to send out a strong joint message reinforcing the importance of humanitarian rights in Syria. It is expected to stress that siege is not an acceptable tactic of war; that all people must have access to humanitarian support; and that all sides must respect humanitarian law.
The commitment announced by the UK today sets out UK spending until 2020, but this commitment is set to grow in future years. The pledge will see the UK 2015 commitment of £255m doubled to £510m for 2016, recognising the immediacy of the crisis.