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press release

Germany funds emergency aid project for people in Syria

18.02.2012

The Federal Government is providing around 300,000 euro to support an emergency aid project run by the German Red Cross in cooperation with the Syrian Red Crescent to alleviate the suffering of the people in Syria.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement today (18 February):

“The humanitarian situation and the hardships faced by the people in Syria are depressing.
The German Government feels itself bound by the dictates of humanity to help alleviate the suffering of the people in Syria and of Syrian refugees.
We will continue to do our utmost to ensure that aid organizations are at long last granted free and unimpeded access to the suffering people.”

Aid organizations currently have only very limited access to Syria, and the situation on the ground makes it very difficult to get help to where it is needed. The number of refugees in Syria’s neighbouring states has now risen to at least 20,000.

This project aims to provide foodstuffs, blankets and hygiene items for suffering and particularly needy families in areas of Syria affected by the violence.

The Federal Foreign Office, at Minister Westerwelle’s instigation, yesterday (17 February) hosted an informal meeting in Berlin aimed at getting as true a picture as possible of the humanitarian situation and discussing possible ways to ensure improved access for humanitarian aid in Syria. The meeting was attended by representatives of international and national aid organizations, selected other donor states and partner states in the region.

This initiative is part of the Federal Government’s ongoing humanitarian engagement.

Since last year, a total of approx. three million euro has been made available for measures to help particularly affected population groups in Syria as well as refugees in the neighbouring states.

Within the scope of its humanitarian aid, the Federal Government supports partners and organizations committed to the humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence and impartiality. This is the precondition for all parties to the conflict allowing the humanitarian aid to reach the civilian population.