Press Releases, 18 December 2013
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres today thanked the European Union for a contribution of €63 million for displaced Syrians by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO). This is the largest single contribution UNHCR has received from the European Union. This assistance will allow UNHCR to provide vital support to those most impacted by the largest humanitarian crisis the world is facing. Today's announcement comes two days after the UN and partners launched an appeal for US$6.5 billion for Syria, the largest amount requested for a single humanitarian emergency.
"We must do whatever we can to help those who have lost everything through this conflict. One of UNHCR's priorities is to bolster support in the neighbouring countries during the winter, where the vast majority of Syrian refugees live and where needs are greater than ever. UNHCR welcomes the support from the European Union," said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva said "Our collaboration with the major UN agencies is vital to the overall relief assistance being provided by Europe for this terrible crisis. Working together has enabled us to reach many of the millions of men, women and children who are suffering as a result of this tragic conflict."
Over 2.3 million people have fled Syria since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011, in one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history, while 6.5 million people are displaced inside Syria. The EU's contribution will support the work of UNHCR and its partners in providing humanitarian assistance to people displaced in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
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