Australia provides a further $6 million to alleviate Syrian suffering
13 December, 2012
A young refugee at a registration centre in the Bekaa Valley. Photo: UNHCR/S. Malkawi
Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced a further $6 million in Australian humanitarian assistance to Syria to address urgent needs arising from the ongoing conflict. This brings Australia’s total humanitarian contribution to $30.5 million since June 2011.
It is estimated that more than 20,000 people have been killed and three million people have been displaced as a result of the violence in Syria. More than half of the displaced are children. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 2.5 million people currently require urgent assistance and this number will reach four million early next year.
The approaching winter poses a serious threat to vulnerable people in Syria, especially children, who need warm clothing and bedding, shelter and hot food to survive. Australia is allocating $4 million through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to provide winter packages to 300,000 people in Syria, including 155,000 children. Winter packages include clothing, blankets and sleeping mats, shelter materials and cooking equipment.
Access to health care is a major concern, with 67 per cent of public hospitals in Syria damaged or destroyed. $1 million will be provided through the World Health Organization (WHO) to address critical shortages in basic medical supplies and essential medicines.
A further $1 million will be provided through the World Food Programme (WFP) to facilitate the delivery of urgently needed food and basic hygiene kits to 1.5 million Syrians.
Last Reviewed: 13 December, 2012