Press release | Date: 18/03/2015
‘The humanitarian crisis in Syria is escalating. The Government is now providing USD 93 million to support efforts in Syria and the neighbouring countries. Children are the hardest hit. USD 18.6 million of these funds will be earmarked for education and child protection efforts,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The civil war in Syria is now entering its fifth year. More than 12 million people, or three-quarters of the country’s population, need humanitarian support in order to meet their most basic needs. There are 7.6 million internally displaced people, and nearly 4 million people have fled to neighbouring countries.
‘Syria is in danger of losing a whole generation as a result of the civil war. More than 1.6 million children have no form of schooling. Providing access to education, food and a secure environment is the most important way in which Norway can help to give these children a future. USD 18.6 million, or 20 %, of the Government’s funding will therefore be used to provide education and protection for children in Syria and in vulnerable host communities in Lebanon and Jordan,’ said Mr Brende.
Norway’s funding for education activities will be channelled through Unicef, Save the Children and the Norwegian Refugee Council. More than 4000 schools have been fully or partially destroyed. Syria’s neighbouring countries also face huge challenges in integrating refugee children into local schools.
‘Humanitarian needs will only increase as long as no peaceful solution is reached. Norway is also supporting the political efforts to establish a ceasefire and a peaceful solution for Syria,’ said Mr Brende.
On 31 March, the UN will hold the third pledging conference for Syria in Kuwait. Norway supports the UN goal of an allocation of at least 4 % of humanitarian aid to education measures for children, who are often overlooked in crisis situations, even protracted crises.
Last year, Norway provided NOK 600 million in humanitarian and development aid to Syria and its neighbouring countries, and is now increasing this amount by NOK 150 million. This will bring Norway’s support to Syria and its neighbouring countries up to a total of NOK 2.65 billion since the civil war started in the spring of 2011.