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Syria Conference: Austria Pledges 18.2 Million Euros in Aid

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Foreign Minister Schallenberg: "We will continue to fulfil our humanitarian responsibilities on the ground in 2021."

Austria will pledge 18.2 million euros in aid at Tuesday's fifth Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region. The assistance for 2021 will benefit people in Syria as well as communities hosting displaced Syrians in neighbouring countries.

A few days ago, we marked the tenth anniversary of the outbreak of the brutal and tragic conflict in Syria. After a decade of death, destruction and unspeakable suffering, people in Syria and the surrounding region remain in a truly dreadful humanitarian situation. The Syrian people deserve better. After ten years of suffering and hardship, the wait for peace must end,

said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

He added that the international community had so far failed to stop those seeking to resolve the conflict by force alone and to hold accountable those responsible for crimes, and that this failure had to be addressed. Schallenberg said that the Syrian regime and its allies were responsible for great suffering, as were the terrorists of Islamic State and a number of other groups, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Austria therefore provided its full support to UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen as he looked to secure a comprehensive and sustainable political solution including all the actors in the conflict.

Syria and its neighbours have been a focus of Austrian humanitarian aid since the beginning of the crisis. Since 2011, Austria has provided 160 million euros in funding for humanitarian projects run by international organisations and Austrian NGOs.

Syria and its surrounding region remain a focus for Austria's humanitarian commitments,

Schallenberg said.

We will fulfil our humanitarian responsibilities on the ground this year, too. Of course, we know that humanitarian aid can only ever be an emergency bandage, but it is nevertheless essential for saving lives and giving people a future to look forward to.

Aid projects worth 18.2 million euros are currently planned in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.