Press release 11/2014
15 January 2014
Finland will give 7 million euros in humanitarian aid for the victims of the crisis in Syria. Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto announced Finland’s additional support in Kuwait today, 15 January, at the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The aid pledged by Finland will be delivered through UNHCR – the UN refugee agency, the World Food Programme WFP and Finnish NGOs.“No end to the humanitarian crisis, deepening day by day, can be seen before a sustainable political solution is found to the war in Syria. Until then, we must do everything we can to save lives in Syria and to help the refugees,” Development Minister Haavisto says.
Under UN auspices, humanitarian aid organizations are running a historically high joint appeal totalling 4.8 billion euros in order to provide assistance to 16 million people in Syria and its neighbouring countries. In addition, countries in the region need development assistance to be able to cope with the burden brought by refugees. The aim of the conference in Kuwait is to gather pledges as high as possible for covering these needs. This high-level conference is attended by heads of State and ministers from both donor countries and countries that have received the flows of refugees from Syria.Haavisto arrives in Kuwait from Jordan and Lebanon, where he met with local political leaders and representatives of UN organizations, and learned more about the living conditions of refugees in unofficial camps in Lebanon. His trip will continue from Kuwait to Turkey.
“The Syrian crisis has very far-reaching impacts on the societies and economies of neighbouring countries. This visit to the area confirmed that our aid reaches its destination and that it is still greatly needed,” Haavisto states.The humanitarian aid granted by Finland can also strengthen the economic, social and ecological carrying capacity of the poorest residential areas in neighbouring countries hosting the refugees.
The UN estimates that the number of officially registered refugees from Syria will rise from the present 2.3 million to over four million by the end of 2014. In addition, the neighbouring countries have hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have not yet registered as refugees.Additional information: Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to Minister Haavisto, mobile tel. +358 40 522 9869, and Anna Gebremedhin, Head of the Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, mobile tel. +358 40 583 0149, firstname.lastname@example.org