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Brussels, 20 January 2013
Additional €20 million to support Jordan in Syria refugee crisis
The European Union (EU) has recently decided to increase its support to help Jordan and Jordanian host communities cope with the Syrian refugee crisis by an additional €20 million. financed from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and is part of the €400 million support package to mitigate the effects of the Syrian crisis, previously announced by the EU in the Joint Communication of 24 June 2013, which is now under implementation in the region.
Out of this allocation, €10 million will address the challenges of wastewater in Jordanian host communities which are suffering under the massive influx of refugees from Syria. More specifically, the programme will contribute to the protection of water resources in the Governorate of Irbid, in order to reduce health risks caused by inadequately treated wastewater released in the environment and to reduce household expenditures.
The remaining €10 million will be used to provide education, mentoring and skills development for displaced Syrian refugees in Jordan. The programme will target vulnerable Syrian children and youths in refugee camps and in Jordanian host communities by providing them with access to formal education and to other relevant skills development and mentoring services.
On the assistance programmes
The programme on education will be the second phase of an already on-going EU funded programme implemented through UNICEF which helps meeting the educational needs among the Syrian refuges communities in Jordan, in order to avoid a lost generation.
The pressure on local education services is growing as the number of Syrian refugees settling in north governorate municipalities increases and no return to Syria can be foreseen for the near future. The EU funds will be used to address the educational needs both in and outside the camps and help to reduce tensions between host and refugee communities.
The waste water programme aims at tackling the structural problem of Jordan’s water scarcity by avoiding ground water deterioration caused by increasing numbers of septic tanks. The investment cost of sewerage infrastructure is high and the sector needs urgent support. This programme will be implemented through the ‘Kreditanstalt Für Wiederaufbau’ (KfW).
On EU assistance in response to the Syria refugee crisis
On 24 June 2013, the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission (HR/VP) announced an increase in EU aid of €400 million - €250 million to support humanitarian relief and €150 million development assistance. As of today, almost 90% of the €150 million in in recovery and development assistance have already been contracted and rapidly turned into concrete projects. Implementation has begun on the ground.
Overall, the European Commission and EU Member States have together mobilised over €2 billion development and humanitarian aid since 2011, making the EU the biggest donor. In 2013 alone, the European Commission has now provided €280 million in development assistance under the ENPI, €350 million in humanitarian relief, and €65 million under other aid instruments, which brings the amount of aid this year to almost €700 million.
The total number of people affected by the civil war in Syria and in need of assistance is over 9 million, around half of the entire population. This makes the Syria crisis the largest humanitarian emergency in decades. Within Syria, more than 6.5 million are internally displaced. In addition, the number of refugees who have fled from the war in Syria into neighbouring countries has now reached over 2.3 million. More than half of all those refugees are children. According to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates, the refugee population in the region could reach over 4 million by the end of 2014.
For more information
EU assistance to Syria:
Commissioner Štefan Füle's website:
EU Delegation to Jordan: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/jordan/index_en.htm
Website of the European External Action Service on Jordan: http://eeas.europa.eu/jordan/
European Neighbourhood Policy: http://eeas.europa.eu/enp/index_en.htm
EU Neighbourhood InfoCentre: http://www.enpi-info.eu/