Syria: Coronavirus

Department for International Development written question – answered on 30th April 2020.

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Photo of The Bishop of Coventry The Bishop of Coventry Bishop

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to help minimise the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to those currently living in refugee camps in Syria.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State, The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The UK recognises that individuals in refugee camps are more vulnerable to COVID-19. In Syria the UK is one of the leading donors supporting international efforts to deliver vital healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene activities; all of which help to mitigate the threat posed by COVID-19.

DFID’s current support in Syria includes training for health workers; educational material to raise awareness on health and sanitation; provision of infection, prevention, and control supplies; and cash assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The UK is monitoring the situation closely and working with humanitarian partners inside Syria to respond to the outbreak and to sustain life-saving services.

DFID has pledged £200 million of humanitarian aid to support the UK’s global efforts to combat the outbreak, this includes support for IDPs and those in refugee camps. £65 million of this contribution is for the World Health Organisation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our most recent funding also includes new support to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) and to UNICEF to help install new hand-washing stations and isolation and treatment centres in refugee camps, as well as provide protection services and education opportunities for forcibly displaced children.

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