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Estonia Helping to Improve Situation of Victims of Conflict in Syria

09.07.2012

No. 198-E

Through the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Foreign Ministry is helping Syrian civilians that are trapped in an extremely complicated situation as a result of the violence directed at them and the crimes against humanity being committed in Syria.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that over 16 000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has gone on for almost a year and a half. “Over 100 000 people have fled to Syria’s neighbouring countries Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and at least 1.5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid,” he said.

The foreign minister noted that the entire international community should contribute to supporting the people of Syria. “People are lacking drinking water, food, and other things necessary for life. Those who are injured need medical care,” he said. Simply allocating aid to Syria is not enough – the Syrian authorities must allow complete and unhindered access for humanitarian aid to reach those in need. “Therefore it is important that pressure continues to be placed on the Syrian government to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches its destination,” Paet stated.

The foreign minister also emphasised that in addition to allocating aid, the international community must make an effort to end the violence in Syria. “A cease-fire must be achieved as soon as possible and then real steps must be taken to get all the parties to support the transition plan formulated by the special representative of the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan, so that a transition government could be formed in the country,” he emphasised. “The international community must be ready to provide long-term help to rebuild Syria, in addition to providing humanitarian aid,” he added.

Through the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Foreign Ministry is supporting Syria with 50 000 euros. The Foreign Ministry has earlier donated 50 000 euros to help Syrians through the UN Emergency Response Fund for Syria. The Foreign Ministry supports Syrian civilians with money allocated from its humanitarian aid budget.

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