Estonia gives 200k euro to Syrian Refugee Crisis

  • 2014-02-07
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonia is supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon with 200,000 euros in aid, the Foreign Ministry of Estonia said in a statement, reports LETA.

The funds will be split equally between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), which supports education for displaced children from Syria.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said the humanitarian crisis in Syria has grown to become one of the largest and farthest-reaching regional humanitarian catastrophes. "Syria has become a country completely dependent on humanitarian aid. Without a political agreement, the humanitarian crisis will not be solved," Paet said. "Only by continuing talks with all parties involved in the conflict can we move, step-by-step, towards a common solution and resolution of the tensions caused by the conflict," he added.

Paet emphasized the need to continue supporting Syria’s neighboring countries, who are hosting Syrian refugees. "The majority of refugees have relocated to Syria's neighboring countries and the burden placed on those countries will grow if the crisis continues. This can, in turn, have undesirable economic and political consequences in the given countries," he noted.

The foreign minister added that the international community at large must continue to assert pressure on both parties in the conflict to allow the entry of humanitarian aid and humanitarian aid workers in Syria.

Over nine million people have been affected by the crisis within Syria. The number of internally displaced people in Syria has grown to 6.5 million. The number of refugees in neighboring countries is estimated to be three million. According to official reports, there are already in excess of 590,000 refugees from Syria currently in Jordan, with over 900,000 in Lebanon. 5.5 million Syrian children are suffering due to the crisis, of whom 4.3 million are in Syria and 1.2 million abroad.

Estonia has supported efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the region by giving close to one million euros. Of that, 150,000 euros has been through the UNHCR to help refugees from Syria in Jordan and 100,000 euros through the United Nations Children's Fund to support the continuing education of displaced children from Syria in Lebanon. In December of last year, Estonia supported the World Health Organization's efforts with 100,000 euros to combat the spread of polio in Syria and the region as a whole.