Press release

UK announces increased assistance for Syria crisis

UK announces additional £30m in humanitarian funding for the Syrian people and extra £10m in non-lethal support to the Syrian opposition

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During a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama today, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK would be providing an extra £30 million of humanitarian support for the victims of the Syria crisis, and an additional £10 million in non-lethal support to strengthen the Syrian opposition, to help reduce the effects of the conflict spilling over into neighbouring countries and to support human rights and civil society.

The new humanitarian support of £30 million takes the UK’s total contribution to the Syria humanitarian crisis to £170 million. The results from this new funding are expected to include:

  • access for 224,000 people to care for trauma injuries, primary health care and referrals to further health facilities;
  • access for 172,000 people to food, including bread and flour; and
  • vouchers for 100,000 people to get essential household items such as food, clothing, clean water and improved sanitation.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

Violence in Syria has led to widespread humanitarian suffering and created more than a million refugees, meaning the effects of the conflict are being felt right across the region. Britain has already been providing food, clothes, shelter and medical care to Syrians in need. This extra £30 million will allow us to continue this vital support for longer. Other countries now need to ensure they fulfil their pledges and show their commitment to people affected by the crisis, and the Government of Syria and all parties must give aid workers access to help the most vulnerable in all areas of the country.

The UK has already provided over £12 million in non-lethal support to the Syrian opposition, civil society and human rights defenders. This money has helped enable the National Coalition to develop structures that will allow it to function more effectively on the ground in Syria. We have promoted the growth of free media in opposition-controlled areas, and helped lay the ground for those perpetrating human-rights abuses to be held to account. But there is an urgent need to do more to try to bring an end to this conflict.

The UK is therefore doubling the support it is making available in this financial year from £10 million to £20 million. This additional support will further the work we are doing to assist the National Coalition, the Interim Government and Local Councils in delivering good governance and services to the Syrian people inside Syria. This additional assistance will also increase the support we are providing to neighbouring countries to help reduce the overspill of the conflict – helping them to improve border security and reduce the risk of tensions between refugees and host communities. We will also continue our work supporting the protection of human rights by supporting activists to gather evidence of violations, and tackle the risks of sectarianism through community peace-building and conflict mediation efforts.

The UK remains committed to pursuing a political solution to the crisis by increasing pressure on the regime and strengthening the moderate opposition.

Further information

Find out more information on the UK humanitarian response in Syria

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Published 13 May 2013