Ambassador Joachim Rücker, Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Middle East Stability Partnership, issued the following statement today (25 October) prior to departing for Gaziantep on the Turkish-Syrian border:
Turkey – along with Lebanon and Jordan – has assumed enormous responsibility by sheltering Syrian refugees close to their home country. This is not at all to be taken for granted. We are backing efforts to meet this challenge and stand firmly by the side of Syria’s neighbouring countries, which are directly affected by the conflict and are providing shelter to people who have fled violence, persecution and bitter hardship.
Germany is supporting Syria’s neighbours, and thereby also the people in Syria and in neighbouring countries, more than ever before. For 2016 alone, the Federal Government has committed funds in the amount of 1.3 billion euros. In doing this, we have one chief aim, namely to create prospects for those who have often enough lost everything by fleeing their home country.
In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, it is of key importance that children and young people are given the opportunity to pursue an education. There are nearly one million Syrian refugee children in Turkey, and according to UNICEF only just under one-third are currently able to attend school. Our Turkish partners are aiming, by the end of this school year, to give every refugee child the opportunity to pursue his or her education. This is something we will continue to actively support.
It is just as important to create prospects for refugees as long as the conflict is still raging in Syria. This means creating jobs and giving people the opportunity to earn their own incomes. During my trip, I will gain an impression of the progress that has been achieved through projects in the region that are being carried out with, and thanks to, Germany’s support.
On Wednesday and Thursday (26 and 27 October), talks are planned with representatives of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the White Helmets, the Director General of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). Ambassador Rücker will also visit, among other things, a cash-for-work project that provides training to Syrian refugees.