“The refugee crisis in Syria is on its way to becoming the worst since the Second World War. The Government is therefore increasing Norway’s assistance by NOK 100 million,” announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
The humanitarian situation in Syria and its neighbouring countries is become becoming more serious than the worst prognoses at the beginning of the year. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently described the scale of crisis as comparable with refugee situations witnessed in the Second World War. Some 8 000 refugees are arriving in the neighbouring countries every day. The UN estimates that the total number of refugees is now more than 1.4 million.
“A large part of this additional funding will be used to support UNHCR’s efforts to assist refugees in Syria’s neighbouring countries. This assistance is crucial for the people affected, but it is also important for maintaining political stability in the region,” said Mr Eide.
Humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees is severely underfinanced. The huge flow of refugees is affecting Jordan and Lebanon in particular.
If the current trend continues, the number of refugees will have increased to 3.5 million by the end of the year. In addition, more than 4.25 million Syrians are internally displaced within the country. Some of Norway’s additional funding will be used to assist these people.
This additional contribution brings Norway’s total pledged funding for humanitarian assistance to the victims of the Syrian crisis in 2013 to NOK 310 million.