Estonia Aiding Victims of Conflict in Syria
The Foreign Ministry is aiding victims of the crisis in Syria through the UN Emergency Response Fund for Syria (ERF) with 50 000 euros.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that it is essential for Syria to follow the peace plan proposed by Special Envoy of the UN and the Arab league Kofi Annan. “The tense situation in Syria continues to be alarming. Violence against civilians and human rights violations must stop,” said the foreign minister. “It is also very important that aid organisations are allowed access to injured people and others in need so that they can distribute humanitarian aid,” he added.
On 29 March the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called on all donors to contribute to the newly created Emergency Response Fund for Syria. Resources from the fund are being used to provide aid through UN sub-organisations as well as partner organisations in Syria as the security situation in the country allows. Currently the Syrian government has allowed for a daily 2-hour “humanitarian pause” for aid to be brought in and for the injured to be evacuated. The first aid kits with food and hygiene products reached 2 000 people on 28 March. According to UN data, nearly 11 000 people have dies due to the present conflict in Syria. Syrians numbering 44 000 have fled to neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and there up to a million people in Syria who are in need of aid. The Syrian government has agreed to pass aid along to those in need in co-operation with the Syrian Red Crescent Association.
The first people to receive aid are the injured, internally displaced persons, host families, and people who lack direct access to food and essential services. Currently the greatest need is for food and basic household items, medical aid, and psychological counselling. Other primary needs are continuing education for children and protecting the people.