At the Donor Conference for Syria, State Secretary Bavdaž Kuret pledges EUR 280,000 for humanitarian aid
Brussels, 5 April 2017 - State Secretary Darja Bavdaž Kuret attended the international donor conference 'Supporting Syria and the Region'. After Kuwait and London, the conference was organised in Brussels this year. The aim of the conference is to review the fulfilment of the London conference commitments and announce additional donations, as well as seek the best possible ways to support a permanent political solution in Syria and encourage reflection on the post-conflict recovery. At the conference, the State Secretary strongly condemned yesterday's chemical weapons attack in Idlib province and called for an investigation to determine responsibility.
Relating to the peace efforts, Slovenia strongly supports a political solution to the situation in Syria, which should remain a priority for the international community. The current ceasefire, albeit fragile, is vital for the success of the negotiations between Syrian government and opposition led by the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura in Geneva. Slovenia calls on all parties involved to do everything in their power to strengthen the ceasefire and prevent new outbreaks of violence. The State Secretary underlined that a political solution for Syria must remain a priority for the international community and that everything needs to be done to stop attacks that use chemical weapons like the one which occurred yesterday.
The State Secretary announced that for 2017–2019 Slovenia would earmark EUR 280,000 of funds for Syria and the region. The money will be allocated as contributions to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for delivering emergency relief to the affected population in Syria and Jordan, namely EUR 30,000 in 2017, EUR 40,000 in 2018 and EUR 50,000 in 2019. Additionally, Slovenia will ensure support for long-term projects to assist Syrian refugees through ITF Enhancing Human Security in the amount of EUR 60,000, and by awarding Jordanian students scholarships for post-graduate studies for the academic year 2018-2019 totalling EUR 100,000.
In 2016, Slovenia allocated a total of around 1.8 million euros for assistance to Syria, its neighbouring countries and countries with large numbers of refugees: EUR 145,000 as contributions to international organisations; around EUR 117,000 for bilateral projects of rehabilitation for people affected by conflicts in the region; around EUR 516,000 in the form of a humanitarian contribution to the Facility for Refugees in Turkey; and EUR 1.05 million for in-kind assistance for refugees in Greece.
Since 2014, Slovenia has supported bilateral projects in the field of victim rehabilitation, strengthening their psycho-social well-being and providing various forms of training, particularly for women and children refugees, carried out in Jordan and Lebanon by ITF Enhancing Human Security and the Slovenian NGO Institute Circle, which was selected through public call. Between 2014 and 2016, different forms of training were attended by over 10,500 participants; and psycho-social assistance was provided to a total of around 620 children and 200 women. In 2017, the assistance will continue through the following projects: around 20,000 refugees in Jordan will participate in workshops on mine risks, 270 child refugees in Jordan will be included in a general education programme, and around 900 women refugees in Lebanon will take part in a health and psycho-social rehabilitation programme.
With its development cooperation programmes, including humanitarian assistance, Slovenia acts as a responsible and active member of the international community, and joins other developed countries in contributing to more balanced and just development in the world, expressing solidarity with affected countries and individuals facing extreme conditions due to natural and other major disasters or armed conflict. By providing development and humanitarian assistance and undertaking other preventive foreign policy activities, Slovenia rises to global challenges and thus contributes to tackling the root causes of crises around the world.