Press release

Further UK support for Syrians hit by winter storms

A further £30 million from the UK will help people in Syria and in Lebanon cope with the impact of winter in the region.

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

Syrian refugees brave the cold during heavy snowfall at the Terbol tented settlement in the Bekaa Valley last week. Picture: UNHCR/A. McConnell
Syrian refugees brave the cold during heavy snowfall in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley last week. Picture: UNHCR/A. McConnell

The UK will provide a further £30 million to help Syrians caught up in the ongoing crisis cope with the winter storms and plummeting temperatures that are sweeping the region, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

Inside Syria, this will see 15,000 blankets distributed and will ensure that at least 30,000 families get essential food rations. It will also deliver hygiene kits to 30,000 households and help to ensure that people displaced by the fighting have access to clean water and basic shelter equipment, including plastic sheeting and ropes to keep off the worst of the elements.

In particular, this new assistance will focus on hard to reach areas inside Syria, to help people there get through the winter.

The new support will also help those in need across the region, particularly inside Lebanon where partner agencies including UNICEF and UNHCR will provide protection and shelter for refugees and vulnerable host communities. UK funding will also help Oxfam ensure that households can access clean water and adequate sanitation and provide education in hygiene to help prevent the spread of disease.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

As the worst storm in decades hit the Middle East, we saw just what the onset of winter means for ordinary men, women and children caught up in this crisis. Barefoot children forced to walk through the snow. Makeshift shelters of cardboard and sacking that offer no protection in the face of freezing winds and storms. The growing risk of respiratory disease. Another winter of misery for millions of ordinary Syrians.

We have already provided £60 million for winter tents, warm clothing and heaters. Now, a further £30 million will ensure that food, blankets and shelter kits get through to those who need them. As winter sets in, we are taking action and it is time for the rest of the world to act too.

Notes to Editors

  1. £18.5 million of the £30 million will be allocated to provide help inside Syria, with the remaining £11.9 million to help refugees and vulnerable host communities inside Lebanon.

  2. International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced last week (Wednesday 11 December) that the UK was allocating nearly £60 million to help hundreds of thousands of Syrians, especially children, cope with the onset of winter. This includes winter tents, warm clothing and heaters to help the most vulnerable people both inside Syria and across the region cope with the third winter since the conflict began.

  3. The UK has committed £500 million to help those affected by the conflict. This is the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis. It will provide support including food, medical care, shelter and relief items for over a million people including those affected by the fighting in Syria and to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. For full details, please visit:

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Published 20 December 2013