“There is an acute need for additional funds to alleviate several of the grave humanitarian crises in the world. The Government has therefore presented a proposition to the Storting today, proposing a NOK 350 million increase in the humanitarian budget. Of this sum, NOK 275 million will go to the crisis in Syria,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
The humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating steadily. The conflict in Syria began in March 2011. According to UN reports, more than 100 000 people have been killed. The number of refugees fleeing to Syria’s neighbouring countries has exceeded 1.9 million, and there are 4.25 million internally displaced. At least 6.8 million Syrians are dependent on humanitarian aid.
“The situation in Syria is becoming increasingly brutal. Both the population in Syria and the refugees in neighbouring countries need our help. In addition, the pressure being exerted on Syria’s neighbouring countries by the flow of refugees is a major problem. It is crucial that the international community helps the neighbouring countries to address this situation,” Mr Eide said.
The additional NOK 275 million will bring Norway’s total humanitarian contribution to the crisis in Syria in 2013 to NOK 635 million. Norway will then have provided a total of NOK 850 million since the onset of the conflict in 2011.
“The crisis in Syria is the most rapidly escalating crisis in the world today. We must not, however, forget the humanitarian needs in other crises that are less in the media spotlight. The Government will therefore also provide an additional NOK 75 million to South Sudan and the area around the Great Lakes in Africa,” said Mr Eide.