25-4-2013 — /europawire.eu/ — Additional EU funding totalling €70 million to meet humanitarian needs in Syria, Mali, the Sahel region and Chad. was approved by the Budgets Committee on Wednesday.
Two years after the start of the conflict, violence is intensifying inside Syria and the UN estimates that more than 4 million people urgently need humanitarian aid. In neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, governments and humanitarian organisations face huge difficulties in meeting the refugees’ most basic needs.
The amount allocated for Syria is €19.5 million, which comes on top of previous EU funding worth over €300 million.
The additional funding will buy food, protection, shelter, medical supplies and psychosocial support for displaced persons in Syria proper and Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Syria, and Lebanese and Iraqi returnees.
An additional €12 million in EU funding will meet new needs arising out of the military intervention in Mali. The money will be used to scale up existing food and health projects to prepare for the expected return of displaced persons within Mali and replacing stocks looted by jihadists before leaving (€3 million).
Food aid contributions in the northern regions will be provided through the Red Cross (€5 million) and the World Food Programme (€2 million). Measures to improve humanitarian aid access to these regions (transport, demining, civil-military coordination) will be supported with €2 million.
Previous EU aid to Mali in 2012 and 2013 totals €100 million.
Sahel and Chad
The Sahel is allocated €30 million to help tackle its food and nutrition crisis. An estimated 10 million people lack secure food supplies and over one million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Recent reports show that the number of people at risk is growing rapidly.
Hopes of a reasonable harvest and adequate food stocks in 2013 in the Sahel have proven over-optimistic, due in part to damage caused by massive flooding in Nigeria’s food-producing areas.
Chad is allocated €8 million, some of which will be used by World food Programme to supply food to 425,000 people for four months, starting in June 2013.
In the chair: Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR)