EU steps up assistance to tackle Syria crisis

Brussels, Jan 30 (IANS) The European Union (EU) increased its humanitarian assistance to deal with the Syria crisis by 136 million euros (about $154 million), the European Commission announced here Thursday.

According to a Xinhua report, half of the funding was to go towards meeting the needs of people within Syria, and the other half to the Syrian refugees and host communities in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. This included 37 million euros (nearly $42 million) to Lebanon and 20 million euros (nearly $23 million) to Jordan in 2015.
“We remain fully committed to continue bringing relief to the most needy victims of this crisis. That is why we are stepping up our assistance,” said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.
Stylianides left Wednesday for a four-day visit to Jordan and Lebanon, along with the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.
Hahn said that in addition to stepping up efforts to address the consequences of the Syrian crisis, the EU remained fully committed to bilateral cooperation with Jordan and Lebanon and would continue to work closely with both governments to support them in their ongoing reforms in key sectors such as renewable energy and justice.
The EU is one of the leaders of the international humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, having mobilised over 3.25 billion euros (nearly $3.7 billion) in assistance. The European Commission alone has already provided 681 million euros (nearly $770 million) in humanitarian funding.