Syria

International Development written question – answered on 26th June 2012.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received on the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees at the Turkish, Lebanese, Jordanian and Iraqi borders.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The UN estimates there are over 93,000 Syrian refugees in need of assistance in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and numbers are steadily increasing. Priority humanitarian needs among Syrian refugees continue to be food and basic supplies, shelter and assistance with rent, access to safe water and sanitation, as well as support for host communities. Many Syrians fleeing the violence require emergency medical assistance as well as basic health care and psychological support. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is co-ordinating with other humanitarian agencies to provide assistance for people fleeing Syria, in addition to the support and services the Governments of neighbouring countries are providing. I recently visited the Jordan-Syria border where I met families who had fled some of the worst affected parts of Syria. I also saw the tremendous efforts the UN and Governments of neighbouring countries are making to support those fleeing the violence.

The UK has so far provided £2 million to UNHCR to provide accommodation, food, and other essential support to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. This is in addition to substantial core funding which the Department provides to UNHCR for its global operations. The UK is also funding the UN and humanitarian agencies working to provide much needed food, water and sanitation, and medical assistance in Syria and the region. Our total funding to date now stands at £8.5 million to meet humanitarian needs. We speak regularly to our humanitarian partners to assess what further help may be needed.

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