Press release

Act now or risk a lost generation, warns Greening

The international community must step up its support for refugee children.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Photograph of Justine Greening talking to a refugee child in Jordan
Justine Greening saw how the UK is supporting education for Syrian refugee children. Picture: Peter Millett/British Embassy Amman

The international community must step up its support for refugee children if Syria is to have a peaceful, viable future, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said during a visit to Jordan today.

Video: See how UK aid is helping Syrian refugees in Za’atari, Jordan

See how UK aid is helping Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Za’atari camp

Ms Greening set out how the UK will spend over £20 million to help Jordan respond to the Syrian crisis, including healthcare, food and clean drinking water for hundreds of thousands of refugees as well as counselling and psychological care for 25,000 children. These allocations bring total UK support to Jordan to £87 million.

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The International Development Secretary visited Za’atari refugee camp, as well as the town of Mafraq, where host communities have opened their doors to Syrian refugees, and saw how UK support is helping to provide schools and education materials for refugee children.

Speaking from Jordan, Justine Greening said:

Over one million Syrian children are now refugees. Many have seen unimaginable horrors and all face an uncertain future.

For the parents I have met, the effect of the crisis on their children is the hardest thing to bear. We must ensure these children have sufficient food, shelter and medical care, but we must also provide the psychological support and education needed for their longer term well-being.

In the future it will be these children who have to help rebuild a more peaceful, democratic Syria, so we must give them the skills they need to do that. There is a stark choice to make – either we invest in the future of Syria or we risk an entire lost generation.

The support from the UK includes:

  • £10 million to the World Food Programme, enabling them to feed 266,000 refugees for one month

  • £6 million to UNICEF for both refugees and vulnerable Jordanian host communities, providing clean drinking water for over 200,000 people as well as support for 25,000 children, including trauma counselling and psychological care

  • £3.2 million to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to provide support including emergency cash assistance, particularly for the highly vulnerable unregistered refugee population, benefiting 36,000 people over the next 24 months

  • £1.6 million to International Rescue Committee (IRC) to provide protection and healthcare with a focus on vulnerable women and girls. This will include reproductive health and primary healthcare for over 12,000 women, and cash support for 700 vulnerable refugee women and girls and their families, helping to reduce pressures that can force them into illegal labour or coerced marriage.

Notes to editors

  1. This is Justine Greening’s second visit to Jordan as Secretary of State for International Development, following a visit in January, as well as a visit to Lebanon in July of this year to see the impact of the Syrian crisis there.

  2. In addition to the £20 million in support that the International Development Secretary detailed during her visit, she also confirmed that £10 million of the £52 million in new humanitarian aid announced by the Prime Minister at the G20 on Friday 6 November will be earmarked for Jordan, with exact details of how it will be used to be set out at a later date. This will bring total UK support to Jordan to £87 million.

  3. The £52 million announced at the G20 brings the total UK humanitarian commitment to the Syrian crisis to £400 million, the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis.

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Published 9 September 2013
Last updated 9 September 2013 + show all updates
  1. Added Video: See how UK aid is helping Syrian refugees in Jordan's Za'atari camp
  2. First published.