Australia ramps up aid to Syria
06 August, 2012
Foreign Minister Carr visits the UNHCR Za'atri Camp in Northern Jordan with Andrew Harper, Head, UNHCR and Jordanian Ambassador to Australia H.E. Ms Rima Aladeen.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr has announced Australia will provide an extra $4 million for food, blankets and medical treatment for the men, women and children fleeing civil war in Syria.
He made the pledge while visiting a refugee camp on the Syrian border in Jordan over the weekend.
With more than a million civilians homeless and more than 10,000 killed, Senator Carr described the situation in Syria as a 'humanitarian disaster'.
'Australia has taken a lead in calling for a unified international response to end the bloodshed,' said Senator Carr.
'And we’re also helping with medical supplies, food and shelter. This additional funding is a step forward in helping the thousands of Syrian civilians caught up in the struggle against the Assad regime.'
More than 145,000 refugees have been displaced to Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon. Senator Carr met some of those taking shelter at the Za’atri refugee camp in Jordan.
He said the additional $4 million will help international agencies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provide food and shelter in the newly constructed refugee camps, as well as basic health checks and medical care.
The funding brings Australia's total contribution to the Syria crisis to $20.5 million, making Australia the world’s fourth-largest national contributor to the response.
Australian experts flown in to provide support on the ground
Foreign Minister Carr visits the UNHCR camp at King Abdullah Park, Jordan.
A team of Australian experts in humanitarian disaster response from the NGO Red R with funding from AusAID are now in Jordan and Lebanon to help in the refugee camps.
'They will be take leading roles in camp construction, logistics and distribution of relief,' Senator Carr said.
'Child protection officers will also work with local agencies on camp safety, child trauma issues and making sure the thousands of refugee children get their share of food and medical aid.'
Media release: Assistance for Syrian refugees [external link]
Last Reviewed: 6 August, 2012