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Finland pledged EUR 15 million to the victims of the crisis in Syria

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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Finland will contribute EUR 15 million to help the victims of the Syrian crisis. Under-Secretary of State Anne Sipiläinen informed about Finland's support in the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Kuwait City on 31 March. High-level representatives from the donor countries and the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees participated in the Conference.

EUR 10 million of the Finnish support is humanitarian aid and EUR 5 million development cooperation funds to support the neighbouring countries' resilience receiving Syrian refugees. The majority of the aid is channelled through UN agencies, such as the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, the UN Children's Fund UNICEF and the World Food Programme WFP, as well as via Finnish and international NGOs/CSOs.

The aim of the Kuwait Conference was to increase support to the victims of the Syrian crisis in the extremely dire humanitarian situation. The war that started as an uprising has already lasted for four years. As its consequence, about 12.2 million people, that is, two thirds of the current population of Syria are today in need of humanitarian aid. 7.6 million Syrians have been internally displaced within the country. More than 220,000 people have been killed.

The Syrian crisis is currently the world's biggest humanitarian aid operation. This year, the UN will need more than EUR 6.9 billion to be able to help the victims of the Syrian crisis both in the country and in the neighbouring countries. To date, more than 3.9 million Syrian refugees have fled mainly to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

The pledge raises Finland's total contribution to the crisis to over EUR 62 million. In 2011–2014, Finland granted over EUR 34 million in humanitarian aid and over EUR 13 million of development cooperation funds to support local communities, planning of reconstruction and peace building.

Additional information: Anna Gebremedhin, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Humanitarian Assistance Policy, tel. +358 40 583 0149; Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen, Director, Unit for the Middle East and North Africa, tel. +358 50 596 1516.