Austria Gives 8 Million Euros to Syria and Jordan

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: November 30, 2022; 23:48 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Syrian conflict, which has been going on for more than 10 years, has led to one of the world's biggest humanitarian crises. The precarious situation on the ground and in neighboring Jordan, where many Syrian refugees are, is worsening and a political solution to the conflict is not in sight. Austria's humanitarian aid on the ground is helping to prevent illegal migration to Europe, the government said.

Jordan hosts vast Syrian refugee camps. / Picture: © U.S. Department of State

The precarious situation in Syria and Jordan remains unchanged even after decades of conflict. This makes it impossible to consistently rebuild the destroyed infrastructure and revive the economy. To alleviate the suffering in Syria and its neighboring country Jordan and to stop further migration toward Europe, the Austrian Federal Government is providing a total of 8 million euros from the Foreign Ministry's Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF).

"Austria is fulfilling its humanitarian responsibility by providing aid organizations with a total of 8 million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund," said Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

People in Syria, Jordan and the region have been suffering for more than 10 years as a result of the ongoing armed conflict. Lack of access to basic services, clean water, electricity and functioning health facilities is a daily threat to the population.

At least 14.6 million people in Syria are dependent on humanitarian aid, around a third of them children. This state of permanent humanitarian need has led to a massive movement of refugees: An estimated 8 to 9 million people have fled abroad since the conflict began, and 6.9 million people have been internally displaced. The humanitarian situation in Jordan is also tense: With some 760,000 displaced people, 89 percent of whom are from Syria, the country hosts the second-highest proportion of refugees per capita. This also presents Jordan with a variety of challenges.

"Humanity dictates that we help here on the ground in an unbureaucratic manner and provide people with clean water, electricity and functioning health facilities. This is also to prevent even more people from making the dangerous journey to Europe and further fueling the inhumane business of smugglers, "Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg also holds.

Of the 8 million euros, 2 million euros each will go to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 1 million euros to the World Food Program (WFP) for Syria. Another 2 million euros will go to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and 1 million euros to Austrian non-governmental organizations in Jordan.

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains devastating after more than a decade of death, destruction and unspeakable suffering. How much disaster relief can still help and how much more active diplomacy is needed are two different things.