Syria crisis demands continued attention

‘The crisis in Syria must not be forgotten, even at a time of many ongoing conflicts and wars. 90 per cent of the Syrian population live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Norway will therefore provide NOK 500 million in support to the work by our partners in Syria in 2024,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Today, Eide is attending the conference in Brussels on supporting the future of Syria and the region. International leaders are meeting at a time when everyday life for Syrians is becoming increasingly difficult, 13 years after the Syrian war broke out. The Norwegian support goes to Norwegian humanitarian organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UN, to provide food, healthcare, education and shelter.

‘Today, most Syrians only have a few hours of electricity each day. This makes everyday life difficult, and maintaining a small business is almost impossible. We need to find solutions that enable Syrians to be more self-sufficient. Instead of sending in trucks with water, the water and electricity supply system needs to be repaired,’ said Eide.

The World Bank states that more than one in four Syrians live in extreme poverty. The Foreign Minister also had a conversation with the UN Special Representative for Syria, Geir O. Pedersen, in connection with the meeting in Brussels. The UN is working for a political solution to the conflict in the country.

‘Norway supports the UN Special Envoy's important work for peace in Syria. Only an inclusive political solution can end the conflict and the suffering of the Syrian people,’ said Eide.

Since the outbreak of war in 2011, Norway has contributed around NOK 20 billion to the Syria crisis.

‘The Syria crisis is also very much a regional crisis. There are more than six million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Several of the neighbouring countries are also struggling with difficult conditions for their own populations, and opposition to the refugees is growing. Norway will therefore continue to provide significant support for the work with refugees and the poor in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon and Jordan,’ said Eide.

Gruppebilde deltakere Syriamote Brussel
Credit: Mathias Rongved, Utenriksdepartementet