This means that Norway is already well on the way to achieving its goal of providing around NOK 10 billion in aid to Syria and its neighbouring countries over a four-year period. Norway launched this goal at the donor conference for Syria that was held in February 2016 following an initiative from Norway.
‘The Syrian crisis is one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time. With 13.5 million people in need of assistance within Syria and 4.8 million Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries, there will still be a great need for assistance in the years to come. Norway is the fifth largest humanitarian donor to those affected by the Syrian crisis. I am very pleased to note that individuals, clubs and associations, and companies and institutions in Norway are supporting the aid organisations’ efforts,’ said Mr Brende.
Norway’s support is channelled through UN agencies, the Red Cross and various Norwegian humanitarian organisations. Priority is given to helping where the need is greatest and where it is possible to gain access, and our efforts comply with the humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality. Norway attaches importance to providing education for children and young people in situations of crisis. A total of 20 % of this year’s humanitarian assistance for the Syrian crisis has been allocated to education efforts in Syria and the neighbouring countries.
‘Our partners are making a heroic effort in extremely difficult conditions. I would like to thank them for the very important work they are doing in Syria and its neighbouring countries. Without their work, the grave situation in the region today would have been even worse,’ said Mr Brende.
Mr Brende emphasised that a ceasefire and political solutions are urgently needed so that the suffering can end. The UN and humanitarian organisations have only received about half of the funding they have appealed for in response to the Syrian crisis. Since 2013, Norway has provided more than NOK 5.5 billion in aid to Syria and the neighbouring countries.
Funding from Norway in 2016 has helped to:
- provide schooling for tens of thousands of children and young people in Syria and the neighbouring countries;
- provide medical treatment and vaccination for thousands of children;
- support survivors of sexual abuse and gender-based violence in Syria and the neighbouring countries;
- offer medical assistance via mobile clinics to more than 60 000 people in the border areas of Lebanon;
- ensure access to water, sanitation and hygiene services for more than 60 000 internally displaced people in Syria;
- provide food and other emergency aid to 80 000 people;
- survey and clear mines and other explosives in Syria and Iraq, which is crucial for civilians to be able to return to their homes;
- enable more than 5 000 Syrian families to provide themselves with vegetables and grains;
- upgrade tens of thousands of buildings within Syria and in the neighbouring countries so that people who have fled their homes can find shelter;
- support UN organisations that are providing food, medical treatment, shelter and other emergency assistance to millions of people every month.