Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, TD, today pledged a further €23 million in humanitarian assistance from Ireland in response to the Syria crisis in 2021. This brings Ireland’s response to the crisis since 2012 to more than €192 million—our largest ever response to a single crisis.
Minister Coveney made the pledge at the fifth Brussels Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region, a virtual event hosted by the EU and UN on 29-30 March.
“This conference tragically marks a decade of conflict in Syria. The conflict, which followed the Syrian people’s expression of their legitimate aspiration to democracy and respect for fundamental rights, has forced millions to flee their homes. It has left millions of Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance.”
Ireland is, together with Norway, leading the negotiations of the UN Security Council’s resolution on the humanitarian situation in Syria. This resolution authorises the UN to deliver aid across the Turkish border to north-west Syria, where millions of vulnerable people depend on it to survive.
“Recently, I visited the Bab Al-Hawa crossing, where emergency humanitarian aid is channeled to 2.7 million people in the Idlib area. Speaking with Syrian and international NGOs and UN agencies working in north-west Syria brought home to me the sheer human misery that results from conflict.”
Minister Coveney called for all parties to allow access to populations in need, wherever they are located. He recalled their obligations under international law and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
In announcing Ireland’s pledge of €23 million to help meet the needs of those affected by the Syria regional crisis, the Minister concluded:
“I strongly believe that the only way to bring lasting peace for all the people of Syria is through a sustainable, Syrian-owned political process. I urge all parties to engage seriously with the UN‑facilitated process under the provisions in Security Council resolution 2254.”
30 March 2021
Notes to Editors
- 15 March 2021 marked ten years since peaceful protests began throughout Syria. Their violent repression by the regime sparked a conflict that continues to this day.
- The conflict has taken a devastating toll on the Syrian people. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, including tens of thousands of children. The UN estimates that the crisis has created more than five and a half million refugees, mainly in neighbouring countries, and displaced a further 6 million Syrians inside their own country. Almost half of the country’s hospitals and primary healthcare centres are out of operation, and almost two and a half million children aged 5 to 17 are out of school.
- The objective of the Conferences is to mobilise continued support to the Syrian people, and for a comprehensive and credible political solution to the Syria conflict, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The Conference also shines a light on the critical humanitarian issues inside the country and in the region, and provides an interactive platform for dialogue with civil society.
- Ireland took up its seat on the UN Security Council on 1 January 2021 and will serve as an elected member for a two-year term (2021-2022). Elected Council members take on a number of leadership roles during their terms, including as penholders of resolutions (primary drafters and facilitators of negotiations). Ireland and Norway are the co-penholders on the Syria humanitarian resolution, which authorises UN humanitarian agencies to deliver aid to non‑government-controlled areas in north‑west Syria via the Bab al-Hawa crossing point at the Turkish border.
- Today’s pledge will bring Ireland’s humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Syria crisis to more than €192 million since 2012 – our largest response to any single crisis. Ireland’s assistance in 2021 will be channeled through a range of trusted partners, including United Nations agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and NGOs. Activities supported will cover Syria and the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.