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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 17 July 2012

Statement by Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, on Syria

The 4th Syria Humanitarian Forum, held in Geneva on 16 July 2012, reported a significant increase in humanitarian aid deliveries - more aid organisations are expanding their activities in Syria and this means more people are getting access to life-saving assistance. Food aid is now reaching 850,000 people per month. But this progress is dwarfed by the constantly rising violence. There are now 1.5-2.5 million people in need of aid, including more than 100,000 refugees in neighbouring countries –with an average 700 to 1000 Syrians fleeing the country every day. This downward spiral can only be stopped if the violence ceases.

I call on the Syrian government to continue opening up space for humanitarian efforts, including through support for humanitarian pauses in areas of fighting, and granting authorisation to more non-governmental organisations to deliver aid in the country. All parties must comply with international humanitarian law to protect civilians and make access possible. Attacks against civilians, including humanitarian workers, are totally inhumane and illegal. They must stop.

I also call upon international donors, in particular those in the region, to increase their financing so that we can deliver the most urgently needed assistance. As far as the European Union is concerned, we have already mobilised more than €47 million: €20 million from the EU budget and €27 million from EU Member States, some of whom announced significant additional contributions at the Syria Humanitarian Forum yesterday. We will continue to step up our humanitarian assistance provided that more access is granted to the people who need help.


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