Britain will help 10,000 Syrian refugees camped along the Turkish border to cope with the harsh winter ahead, Nick Clegg said today.
The new UK aid will provide those who fled the ongoing fighting with essential supplies to survive freezing temperatures, said the Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr Clegg pledged the additional humanitarian support during a meeting with the Turkish Red Crescent, where he saw the provisions first hand - including blankets, heaters and warm clothing for adults, babies and children, as well as fuel and cookers to heat food, and shelter to protect against the elements.
Podcast: Aid expert Neil Barry reports from the Syrian border
The new funding will be channelled through the British Red Cross to the Red Crescent and will ensure that many who have fled their homes with nothing but the clothes they were wearing have the key essentials they need to cope as weather worsens and temperatures drop.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
Refugees from Syria face what is likely to be a bitterly cold winter. The supplies this extra funding will deliver will go some way to helping them through this difficult time.
The Turkish government has shown real leadership and generosity in accommodating the large number of Syrians seeking refuge in their country, while ordinary people have opened their doors and provided help to complete strangers.
It’s clear that the scale of the challenge is huge, however, with over 93,000 registered refugees in the camps along the Syrian-Turkish border and more crossing every day. That’s why we’re announcing this additional funding for the Turkish Red Crescent, working alongside the Turkish government, the UN and the wider humanitarian community, to meet the critical needs of refugees this winter.
Today’s announcement follows funding announced in New York last week by the Prime Minister and the International Development Secretary, including new support for the UN to help it provide urgently needed humanitarian aid through the winter for 2.5 million people still inside Syria.
General Director for the Red Crescent Omer Tashli said:
We are delighted that the British Government has agreed to make a donation of £1 million to the Turkish Red Crescent, the institution that provides humanitarian assistance to thousands of Syrian citizens that are currently being protected by Turkey.
This assistance will be used to ensure that Syrian citizens that are being housed in camps around the border have access to sufficient humanitarian supplies such as blankets and other equipment to help them cope with the winter.
The UK was one of the first to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria, providing vital food, medical care, shelter and other essential support to tens of thousands of people affected by the fighting in Syria and to more than 45,000 refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
In Syria, UK support is helping to deliver emergency food aid to 80,000 people a month, shelter for 9,000 families, and urgent medical care for at least 50,000 people across Syria and the region.