Iceland supports UNHCR with ISK 6.5 million for the Syria Crisis

Iceland has donated ISK 6.5 million (US$ 51,000) to UNHCR in support of people fleeing the conflict in Syria.

Since the start of the conflict in Syria more than 660,000 Syrians have fled to the neighbouring countries. Over half of them are children. In addition, it is estimated that 2.5 million people have fled their homes but remain within Syria. The past few months have seen a huge surge in violence and it is expected that by end June 2013 one million people will have fled to neighbouring countries. The severe winter conditions across Syria and the surrounding region is exacerbating the situation, bringing new difficulties to the displaced people.

“UNHCR is currently appealing for US$ 493.8 million for the Syrian emergency. UNHCR thanks Iceland for this timely contribution, which will help UNHCR assist thousands of vulnerable Syrians during the hardships of winter,” says Pia Prytz Phiri, UNHCR Regional Representative for the Baltic and Nordic countries.

UNHCR activities in the neighbouring countries are focusing on keeping the refugees safe and warm by providing winter adapted tents and scaling up distribution of plastic sheeting, mattresses, stoves, heaters and blankets. Inside Syria, UNHCR’s staff members continue, despite the insecurity, to distribute vital assistance and winterization aid in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Al Hassakeh and Homs.

UNHCR is almost entirely funded by voluntary contributions, mostly from governments.

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