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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 14 September 2012

Additional EU assistance to reach Syrian Refugees in Jordan

The authorities in Jordan have officially requested urgent assistance through the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) to help the country cope with the influx of tens of thousands of Syrian Refugees.

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has registered more than 87,000 Syrians who have fled to Jordan. Over 27,000 of them are now living in refugee camps. However, according to Jordan's authorities, the number of Syrian Refugees both hosted within communities and in the refugee camp now exceeded 200 000.

"The European Commission has been doing all we can to alleviate the humanitarian consequences of this crisis. I want to express my gratitude to Jordan which together with Turkey and Lebanon is a generous host to the Syrian refugees fleeing for their lives. With more refugees coming to Jordan every day, living space, drinkable water, health issues and education for the numerous children in refugee camps are huge concerns. Any additional assistance which can be provided by the Member States will contribute to Europe's solidary with the victims of this conflict," says European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva.

Shelter, blankets, heaters, mattresses, water tanks, latrines and hygiene kits have been requested by Jordan through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, as well as financial assistance.

EU Member States and other countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism have been informed of the needs. All offers of assistance will be coordinated by the MIC.

Background

The majority of the 87,000 registered and to-be-registered refugees who have so far fled to Jordan are concentrated in the cities of Ramtha, Irbid and surrounding villages, Mafraq, Amman, Zarqa and Maan, in southern Jordan. The highest rates of poverty in the country are recorded in some of these Governorates.

While the great majority of Syrians in Jordan today live in host communities, a growing number (around 27,000) were recently housed in refugee camps. Jordan has been affected by the on-going political instability in the region since early 2011, and although coping very well, it is now facing difficulties in providing daily services for the huge number of refugees continuing to flee into the country from neighbouring Syria.

Syrian refugees have also fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, and it is now estimated by the UNHCR that the total number Syrian refugees has reached just over a quarter of a million.

On 7 September the European Commission announced that it is preparing to release an additional €50 million humanitarian funding to help Syrian civilians both inside the country and in the surrounding host countries. This brings the Commission's total contribution to €119 million.

About the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in disaster response among 32 European states (EU-27 plus Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). The participating countries pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the European Union. The European Commission manages the Mechanism through the Monitoring and Information Centre.

For more information

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)


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