European Union: International donors pledge 7.7 billion euros for Syrian refugees

The international community’s support for Syrian refugees was confirmed on Tuesday despite the crisis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, with a pledge of $ 7.7 billion during a donor conference organized by the European Union and the United Nations.

This came as a result of their summit on Brussels, Belgium, Yesterday, Tuesday.

“The total pledges amounted to 6.9 billion euros, or 7.7 billion dollars, including 4.9 billion euros for the year 2020 and an additional two billion for the year 2021,” Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarchic said after the conference.

The previous donor conference in 2019 had yielded commitments to provide $ 7 billion.

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Marc Lukoc, hailed this success, which was achieved “at a stage where funding is difficult to find”.

He said at the beginning of the conference, “If we get $ 5.5 billion, it will not be a bad result”.

The European Union institutions promised “2.3 billion euros for this year and next year”.

Member states added national contributions. In this context, Germany promised 1.58 billion euros, Italy 45 million, Ireland 25 million and Luxembourg 7.5 million euros.

For its part, the United Kingdom announced a contribution of 300 million pounds (328 million euros), while France has committed 845 million euros over three years, including 637 million in loans.

Commissioner Lynnarchich reported that donor countries’ pledges were accompanied by loans from international financial institutions worth 6 billion euros (6.7 billion dollars).

“Be sure to confirm that today’s event comes at a very difficult stage because the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic translates to a massive increase in humanitarian needs around the world, and it certainly has a profound impact on donor economies,” he said.

He added, “In this context that calls for thought, we must be very satisfied with the promise of comprehensive support”.

The promised funds would allow the assistance of about 12 million Syrians who have taken refuge in neighboring countries or have been displaced within their country, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

European Union Foreign Minister Josip Borrell stressed the burden on Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, which is receiving refugees.

He stated that “Turkey has received 3.5 million Syrians for years. 

It is a heavy burden, ”he said, praising the“ solidarity ”that Ankara showed.

Grandi said that the repatriation of refugees in other countries has declined this year, stressing that this situation “has put a very strong pressure on the host countries”.

He pointed out that “the epidemic constituted a severe blow to the economies of the countries of the region, and if its negative impact is not contained, then all progress on the level of humanitarian aid will be dissipated”.

“We do not see a political solution to the conflict. 

There are many areas that are more stable, but there are also areas where there are conflicts.

“The return of the refugees should take place on a voluntary basis,” Grandi said. 

However, there is no program for reconstruction as long as there is no peace.

Borrell noted that “the conflict in Syria is chronic and we cannot accept it”.

He added, “We need a political process that will allow peace, democracy and stability to be established in Syria”.