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Syria: Britain to double humanitarian aid

The announcement of further British support comes in response to a UN estimate that 1.5 million people are in urgent need because of the violence

Britain is to double support to help those caught up in the ongoing violence in Syria, Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said today.

This includes help for those within Syria, as well as refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries.

The announcement of further British support comes in response to a UN estimate that 1.5 million people are in urgent need because of the violence. There is increasing need across all key areas including health, water and sanitation, protection, shelter, food and non-food assistance and support of livelihoods.

The Development Secretary also called upon the regime to live up to its commitments to allow full and immediate access for humanitarian agencies to carry out life-saving work.

Working though agencies including the WFP and UNHCR, new British support will deliver:

  • Emergency food assistance to 82000 people per month for the next six months
  • Shelter to over 9000 families in Syria, household items to over 12500 people and drugs to treat 1000 patients with chronic diseases;
  • Health and water and sanitation services for 4000 more refugees outside Syria;
  • Effective security management to protect UN humanitarian operations, including of 4 UN fields sites;
  • Continued regional advisory support in Amman and Beirut to ensure effective monitoring and implementation of our programme.

Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:

“Ordinary Syrians are increasingly caught up in a desperate situation. Increased levels of violence mean that humanitarian agencies still cannot make a clear assessment of need within the country. But the situation on the ground is deteriorating, with large number of displaced people both within the country and who have fled across its borders. Food and medical supplies are urgently needed.

“Britain is continuing to call for an end to the violence. In partnership with the UN and international community, we call upon the Syrian government to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access for humanitarian agencies.”

The announcement comes as the Foreign Secretary William Hague prepares to attend the Friends of Syria meeting being held on Friday 06 July in Paris.

The new UK support totals £9m. This is in addition to previous UK support of £8.5m, which has gone towards:

  • Meeting critical needs of up to 96,500 refugees in the region, including providing safe accommodation for over 1,900 people fleeing their homes as a result of the violence, food for up to 1,200, as well as water and sanitation for 800 people;
  • Provision of medical care for at least 25,000 people in Syria and across the region;
  • Providing nearly 24,000 families with emergency food supplies and other basic services such as emergency water for 2,750 people, and restoration of damaged water and sanitation infrastructure to ensure access to safe drinking water for over 30,000 people;
  • Supporting UN efforts through funding to an Emergency Response Fund for Syria which will allow the UN to address priority needs and provide food, medical care and other urgent support for around 1 million people affected by violence in Syria the minute the UN access is obtained;
  • Support for work to assess areas of greatest need in Syria, including support for the UN OCHA coordination team working on the ground to negotiate for UN access and ensure a joined-up humanitarian response. It also provided two armoured cars to protect civilian assessment teams.

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