Friday, June 14, 2024

IOM Welcomes New EU Multi-Billion Pledge for Syria

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Brussels / Cairo, 30 May – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has welcomed the USD 5.4 billion pledged to support millions of people still affected by the Syrian war, both within its borders and in neighbouring countries. 

The boost came at the end of the 8th Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region,” which closed on Monday. 

“We must stand with the people of Syria,” said IOM’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Othman Belbeisi. “The humanitarian needs remain high as millions of Syrians continue to live outside their home country, often relying on humanitarian aid to survive. Last year’s tragic earthquake – while briefly spotlighting this ongoing crisis – only exacerbated an already fragile situation. Sustained support is crucial to promote the self-reliance of displaced persons and socio-economic stability as well as ensure adequate access to relevant services.” 

Millions of Syrians continue to be affected by ongoing hostilities, water and food shortages, protection issues, and lack of access to basic services.  During the Conference, the European Union (EU) committed EUR 2.12 billion for 2024 and 2025, which includes EUR 560 million already promised for 2024 for Syrians displaced inside the country and in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, in addition to another EUR 560 million pledged for 2025. 

The bloc also pledged EUR one billion for Syrian refugees in Türkiye, where almost four million people are living under temporary protection. Stressing that 13 years of conflict have made Syria one of the largest humanitarian crises worldwide, EU humanitarian chief Janez Lenarcic said that on top of the EUR five billion in grants, a further EUR 2.5 billion was promised by donors in loans. 

In all, more than 19 million people across Türkiye, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt require some form of humanitarian and development support. This includes almost six million refugees from Syria and other nationalities, compared to 4.27 million refugees in 2015, and nearly 13 million crisis-affected host community members, compared to one million affected host community members in 2015. 

In Northwest Syria, IOM plays a critical role in delivering cross-border aid from Türkiye, which remains a lifeline for affected communities. The Organization has appealed for USD 89 million for its 2024 Crisis Response Plan for the Syrian Arab Republic, which will allow 2.1 million individuals to receive further lifesaving support. So far, the plan is only 13 per cent funded. 

In addition to sustained support for all, IOM calls for long-term solutions to ensure humanitarian access to Northwest Syria and the continuity of its cross-border programme. 

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For more information, please contact: 

In Brussels: Ryan Schroeder, rschroeder@iom.int  

In Cairo: Joe Lowry, jlowry@iom.int  

In Ankara: Miko Alazas, aalazas@iom.int 

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