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Estonia is helping women and children suffering in the Syrian humanitarian crisis

22.05.2014

The Foreign Ministry is helping to ease the situation of women and children suffering from violence in the humanitarian crisis caused by the armed conflict in Syria by donating 150 000 euros through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, the Syrian refugees both within the country and in refugee camps abroad need extensive humanitarian aid to survive. “Syria has become a county completely dependent on humanitarian aid, whose needs continue to increase.

Those affected most by the crisis are children,” Foreign Minister Paet said. He added that a political solution for the Syrian conflict has still not been reached and the effects of the conflict on Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon are growing.

The size of the request by the United Nations to donors for humanitarian aid has grown to 6.5 billion U.S. dollars, which is the largest request in the history of the UN.

UNICEF helps to ensure that children suffering as a result of the conflict in Syria have access to quality and protected education, is also continuing activities for the prevention of polio, offers psycho-social support and protection for children and young people and ensures access to clean drinking water. The ICRC’s activities to alleviate the humanitarian crisis are aimed primarily at Syria, but they also provide aid to neighbouring countries. The ICRC provides first aid to the wounded, hospitalizes them in mobile clinics, offers psycho-social support to victims and ensures food and drinking water to those in need. The ICRC also helps reunite family members who are separated due to a conflict.

The humanitarian crisis that has broken out as a result of the armed conflict that erupted in Syria in the spring of 2011 has now grown to become one of the largest and most far-reaching regional humanitarian catastrophes. More than 150 000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict. More than 9.3 million people, including 5.5 million children, are in need of help. The number of internally displaced people in Syria has grown to 6,5 million and the number of refugees in neighbouring countries is estimated to be 2.6 million.

Estonia has supported the alleviation of the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey with a total of 1.3 million euros through WHO, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF and the Red Cross Committee. Estonia has also contributed through experience sharing – the Estonian rescue team, comprised of logistics experts, helped build a refugee camps in Jordan near the city of Azraq.

The Foreign Ministry is supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross 100 000 euros and the United Nations Children’s Fund with 50 000 euros from its development cooperation and humanitarian aid budget.

 

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