Official have said that the European Union is set to commit some 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in Syrian refugee aid at an international donor conference on Thursday, although a considerable amount of it will be spent outside Syria securing an end to its civil war.
European governments and EU institutions in Brussels are seeking a way to answer a call by Britain, Germany and Norway, which are hosting the conference in London along with the United Nations and Kuwait, to double humanitarian aid to the region.
“We need to ensure that all Syria’s neighbors are supported,” an EU official said, referring to Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. “Inside Syria, London needs to demonstrate that the EU and others are ready to provide humanitarian access to all areas as soon as a ceasefire is agreed,” the official added, noting that some aid would also be supplied to the country.
For the “Supporting Syria and the Region” conference, heads of state and government and ministers from countries around the world will meet in London, setting their sights to raise funds for humanitarian crises caused by the ravaging Syrian war which has been tearing the country.
Moreover, U.N. agencies are appealing for a total of $7.73 billion to manage Syria’s needs this year with a further $1.2 billion required by regional governments for their own plans to cope with the impact of Syria’s conflict.
In the conference on Thursday, the European Union will provide rigorous details of its aid pledges in the Syrian crisis. It gave about 1.1 billion euros to the region in the last donor gathering, which took place in Kuwait in January 2015, according to officials.
Much of the EU aid, which will be in the form of water, sanitation, food, shelter, and medicines, will be in the form of grants and loans with low interest rates and long grace periods.
War has forced most of Syria’s pre-war population out of their homes by the war – 5 million as refugees who have fled abroad and 6.5 million displaced within the country.
In Syria on Monday, rebels fought back against a government offensive near a supply route into the city of Aleppo and said there had been no let-up in Russian air strikes despite a pledge of goodwill moves by Damascus to promote peace talks.
($1 = 0.9194 euros)