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Ireland to dispatch emergency supplies to aid Syrian refugees

Irish Aid, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2012

Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello today announced that Ireland will dispatch emergency supplies to assist civilians who have been forced to flee the ongoing violence in Syria. 

The shipment of tents and blankets will be used by Syrian refugees in Jordan, including in the Za'atari refugee camp, which Minister Costello visited in August.  According to the Jordanian Government, more than 200,000 Syrian refugees have now sought shelter in Jordan, many of whom are living in difficult and dangerous conditions. 

Announcing the decision, Minister Costello said:

“Since my visit to Jordan last month, I have been monitoring the situation in Za’atari refugee camp very closely.  I am acutely conscious of the devastating humanitarian toll this crisis has had on innocent civilians and the pressures it is placing on host countries such as Jordan.  With the increasing numbers of refugees and the imminent onset of winter, Jordan has issued an appeal for additional supplies for the camp.

Following contacts with the UN Refugee Agency in Jordan, I have instructed my staff to plan for a shipment of up to 300 tents, 2,500 blanket and 3,000 jerry cans for the camp.  These items, which will be made available from the Irish Aid stocks in Dubai, will provide life-saving shelter and assistance to the refugees.

The dispatch of these latest supplies underlines Ireland’s continued commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to those worst-affected by the crisis in Syria continues”.

The package of support announced today brings the value of the Government’s response to the crisis in Syria so far this year to over €2.2 million, including funding provided to UN agencies, the Red Cross and major international NGOs. 

The Minister also underscored the need for all parties to the conflict to provide for safe, secure and unhindered humanitarian access and to respect international humanitarian law:

“This is an increasingly violent and deadly conflict.  All of us have been shocked and saddened by the relentless onslaught upon the Syrian civilian population over the last eighteen months. Aid agencies are still not being allowed to access those who need their help.  I call upon the Syrian regime and all those engaged in the conflict to respect civilians and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law immediately and without delay”.