ABU DHABI: The UAE has reiterated its sustained efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people and announced a new donation of Dh220 million (US$60 million).
Mariam Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food Security, announced the pledge as she led the UAE delegation to the “Second Brussels Conference on the future of Syria and the region” held in Brussels on 24th and 25th April, under the joint chairmanship of the European Union and the United Nations.
The conference addressed mobilising resources to provide humanitarian support to Syrians both in Syria and in neighbouring countries and supporting a political peace process spearheaded by the United Nations in Geneva, under the exceptional political and humanitarian conditions currently prevailing Syria as the crisis enters its seventh year.
Al Muhairi said that the UAE is one of the first countries to contribute in alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people since the beginning of the crisis. The UAE provided relief and humanitarian support, participated in donor meetings and met all its financial obligations over and above initial pledges, and applied political and diplomatic efforts to bring the conflict to an end through relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, notably Security Council resolution 2254 and the Geneva 1 Declaration, as a starting point for a political solution, a noble objective all countries should pursue.
She said the value of UAE assistance since the beginning of the Syrian crisis amounted to about Dh3.23 billion (US$880 million), until March 2018. It focused on supporting internally displaced persons in Syria by providing relief and development assistance and by establishing the Syria Reconstruction Fund in cooperation with Germany and the United States.
The Fund, which is the first of its kind, implemented numerous projects in Syria across several sectors including education, health, food, water, shelter, social services and other services. It also helped alleviate the burdens borne Syria’s neighbour countries that host large number of refugees, providing them with economic support, humanitarian aid and relief programmes that contribute to alleviating the great humanitarian burden, in addition to the establishment of camps that cover all the basic needs and necessities.
The camps established by the UAE, notably the Emirati camp in Marajeeb Al Fuhud in Jordan, the Dushanbe camp in northern Iraq and the Larissa and Ritsona camps in Greece are the most prominent examples. The UAE has also received more than 130,000 Syrians since the beginning of the crisis, and announced in 2016 that it would welcome 15 thousand Syrians during the period from 2017 to 2022.