Britain will quadruple its assistance to help tens of thousands more refugees fleeing worsening fighting in Syria, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced today as he visited the new Za’atri tented refugee camp in Jordan, on the Syrian border.
The new funding will in total help more than 45,000 refugees. It will provide emergency food rations for over 18,000 Syrian refugees and safe drinking water and sanitation for thousands more, along with measures aimed specifically at young people, including help for children caught up in violence and basic supplies for mothers and babies
Podcast: Aid expert Neil Barry reports from the Syrian border
The pledge came as fighting continues across Syria and those forced out of their homes face dry, dusty conditions and soaring daytime temperatures under canvas or in temporary shelters.
Speaking from Za’atri, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:
In the midst of its sporting triumphs at the London Olympics, Britain has not forgotten the people of Syria. Today’s extra support shows we stand alongside those who have lost everything because of the actions of this ruthless regime.
The stories I’ve heard today paint a horrifying picture of everyday life for hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in Syria. I’ve met people left with only the clothes on their backs. I’ve spoken to families forced to flee their homes in the dead of night, some walking miles under the constant threat of violence and death if caught trying to escape.
The new funding will go to three key humanitarian bodies providing help in the region - the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and UNHCR. In Jordan itself, the new British funding will:
- Provide food for nearly 11,000 refugees
- Ensure 2,100 vulnerable Syrian and Jordanian children receive psychosocial support
- Provide essential water, sanitation and hygiene assistance to displaced Syrians in transit facilities, including in the Za’atri camp
- Fund child protection activities, registration of refugees and counselling services at Za’atri camp
- Enable emergency cash payments to 1,000 particularly vulnerable Syrian families living with host communities in Jordan
- Allow distribution of approximately 675 hygiene kits specifically for babies.
The remaining British funding will be used to help refugees in Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, including:
- Emergency food rations for nearly 5,500 refugees in Lebanon and over 2,000 refugees in Iraq
- Water, sanitation and hygiene services to over 33,000 refugees in Lebanon, including the supply of more than 1.6 million litres of safe drinking water
- Supply of 4,700 hygiene kits specifically for babies and 1,350 for adults in Lebanon
- Emergency shelter kits for 1,300 displaced Syrians in Iraq and the wider region and winterised shelter equipment for families in Lebanon
- Establishment of direct support for children in refugee camps in Iraq
- Education for over 3,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon who have missed significant periods of schooling.
Read the full press release