UK pledges support for Syrians facing twin threat of conflict and coronavirus

The UK will provide life-saving assistance to Syrians affected by their country’s ongoing conflict and the potentially devastating impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced at the ‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region’ pledging conference in Brussels today (Tuesday 30 June).

With only half of hospitals fully functioning and more than seven million people internally replaced, there remains a critical gap in basic healthcare alongside overcrowded living conditions – increasing the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

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The United Kingdom is pledging at least £300 million to assist vulnerable Syrians with education, healthcare, food, and economic recovery. The funding will help prevent the spread of the virus by supporting health workers with training, medical supplies, and sanitation. Preventing coronavirus in countries with weak health systems helps to protect us all – as no one is safe until we are all safe.

UK funding will remain to help Syrian households recover from the crisis and become more self-reliant in the long-term. Over the past three years, the UK has provided tools, training, and start-up funding to help Syrians in need across the country get a regular income. In her remarks, Ms. Trevelyan said emergency humanitarian support was crucial, but the international community must also continue to help Syrians regain their livelihoods.

The UK is encouraging to ensure more than 500,000 of the most marginalized and at-risk children receive a quality education in Syria. This work provides a sense of stability, safety, and routine for Syrian children, a generation that has grown up in this conflict.

Humanitarian access to millions in need within Syria continues to be obstructed by the Syrian regime, which routinely refuses requests from the UN and aid organizations to deliver aid, prolonging suffering.

It is essential that the UN Security Council Resolution on cross-border aid is renewed in July. The humanitarian situation in Northern Syria is dire, and humanitarian organizations must have unfettered access to help those in need.

The UK supports the UN-facilitated political process to reach a lasting settlement to the conflict which protects the rights of all Syrians. The UK will not consider providing any reconstruction assistance unless a credible, substantive, and genuine political process is firmly underway.

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