The Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., met yesterday with members of the organisation ‘Syrian Irish Humanitarian Aid’ to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria and the international humanitarian response.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Costello said:
“I am deeply concerned about the humanitarian emergency both within Syria and in neighbouring countries receiving substantial numbers of Syrian refugees. A refugee camp has now been established by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) in Jordan to deal with the increased number of people fleeing there from the conflict. I understand that the camp will initially provide shelter for up to 10,000 people and can be expanded to provide for 100,000. To date over 120,000 refugees are known to have left Syria and an additional 500,000 are internally-displaced within the country. Meanwhile, the situation in cities such as Aleppo is fast reaching crisis point. In this context, I am calling on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and to ensure that aid agencies are granted immediate and safe access to those who urgently need their help.
I have already approved the provision of €500,000 in Irish Aid funding for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNHCR, and World Food Programme (WFP) operations in Syria and neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. This funding is being used to provide immediate relief within Syria and help to those forced to flee. Given the intensification of the refugee crisis, I have asked Irish Aid to work with the United Nations and other partners in the region to identify further ways to help meet the priority humanitarian needs of the Syrian population, including further financial support.”
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