Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle: concrete assistance to support the Syrian opposition

02.09.2013 - Press release

In the Federal Foreign Office today, a Framework Agreement for the Syria Recovery Trust Fund was signed by Germany, the United Arab Emirates, the Syrian National Coalition and KfW (Reconstruction Loan Corporation). The head of the National Coalition for Syrian Opposition Forces, Ahmad Jarba, was in Berlin for the occasion and met with Foreign Minister Westerwelle for an in-depth discussion.

Both Germany and the United Arab Emirates made initial contributions of 10 million euros to the fund. Numerous other members of the Friends of Syria group have agreed to accede to the Framework Agreement in the near future, and to provide resources to the trust fund in order to ensure that further funding needs can be met.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle made the following statement on this in Berlin today:

“Only a political solution can bring lasting peace and stability to Syria. To this end we are providing concrete assistance to support the National Coalition for Syrian Opposition Forces. Therefore today, together with the United Arab Emirates, we have set up this trust fund for Syria and equipped it with considerable resources.
If people in Syria put their trust in moderate elements of the opposition because they are visibly and actively forging ahead with reconstruction in areas that they control, then this will bolster their role in securing a political solution and a peaceful future for Syria.”

Background information:

As the community funding mechanism of the Friends of Syria group member states, the Syria Recovery Trust Fund provides civilian support to the National Coalition. The donor states’ contributions are paid into the fund, which is managed by KfW, and will be used for measures aiming to alleviate the immediate suffering of the population in opposition-held areas who have been affected by the civil war. Under the current circumstances the fund’s priority is the provision of basic supplies (above all water, energy, medical care and a secure supply of food). However, when the armed conflict comes to an end the fund should also ensure the immediate availability of resources for reconstruction work (above all for civilian infrastructure).

Germany, together with the United Arab Emirates, has long chaired the Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People. In this capacity the Foreign Ministries of both countries have tasked KfW with organising the recovery fund’s development and structure. KfW will also take on the role of trustee for the management of donor states’ financial contributions. The operational planning and implementation of measures will be undertaken by the administrative management of the fund, which is currently based in Gaziantep (Turkey).

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