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Minister Müller: Refugee and crisis region around Syria still needs our support

Bundesentwicklungsminister Gerd Müller im Gespräch mit einer Frau am Eingang ihres Zeltes beim Besuch eines Flüchtlingscamps in der Bekaa-Ebene im Libanon im Oktober 2016

30.06.2020 |

At the conference on supporting Syria and the region, 53 countries made their pledges for Syria and its neighbouring countries. Commenting on Germany's engagement, German Development Minister Gerd Müller said:

"Ten years into the civil war, eleven million people in Syria and in the neighbouring countries that are severely affected by the refugee crisis depend on assistance from the international community. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the situation. In Syria, nine million people do not have enough to eat. Lebanon, which is hosting 1.5 million refugees from Syria, is on the brink of national bankruptcy. This means there is no money for doctors, police officers and teachers.

That is why we are keeping up our support for the crisis and refugee region. We are one of the largest donors, second only to the EU, and we continue to be engaged. The Development Ministry is making more than 940 million euros available for people in Syria and the much affected countries in the region; this is part of our 1.58 billion euro commitment.

We are thus creating opportunities on the ground for millions of people who, for ten years, have known nothing but deprivation and suffering. The interventions are making a difference. Since 2016, we have been able to create jobs through our cash for work programme for 360,000 people in the neighbouring countries, i.e. in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria. Our support enabled 750,000 Syrian children who have found refuge in these countries to return to school last year. We are thus making a contribution to preventing a lost generation from growing up in this dreadful conflict. And more than five million people have been provided with safe drinking water.

And the Security Council will now need to take its decision about fully opening humanitarian corridors into Syria. And we finally need a viable political solution to the conflict – as the foundation of a future in Syria."

The German government will be making a total of 1.58 billion euros of assistance available at the international donor conference for Syria, thus increasing last year's pledge of 1.4 billion euros. More than 940 million euros are from the budget of the Development Ministry; additional funds have been requested in the second supplementary budget for the region's response to COVID-19.

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