Council of Ministers pledged further humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees
“Supported by UNHCR, we are providing concrete aid for the victims of the Syria conflict and are sending an important signal that Austria will continue its tradition as a dedicated humanitarian aid donor”, said Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl in a statement on the decision of the first Council of Ministers session of the new Federal Government to mobilise a further 150,000 euros of aid from the Foreign Disaster Fund for Syrian refugees.
“These funds enable us to provide support to approximately 4,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. It is of great personal importance that we use these funds to support, in particular, women who have been victims of sexual or gender-specific violence, as well as children who are either unaccompanied or have been separated from their families”, said Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl. Activities specifically designed to benefit women include psychological help and legal advice for women who are survivors of sexual or gender-specific violence, as well as measures for the prevention of such violence. Financial aid for medical treatment is also provided. The funds will be issued to UNCHR via the Austrian Development Agency.
The armed conflict in Syria has given rise to one of the most serious humanitarian catastrophes of recent decades. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 13.1 million Syrians are reliant on humanitarian aid. Close to five million have sought refuge abroad, most of them in neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The number of internally displaced persons has risen by just under a million in the last seven months alone.