Elmar Brok Wants Financial Support for Humanitarian Assistance to Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees in Arsal, Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, March 5, 2012.
Elmar Brok
April 23, 2013

Dear Colleagues,
Commissioner Georgieva is together with us today to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria and the impact of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

Commissioner Georgieva, last week France's foreign Minister Laurent FABIUS expressed to the members of this committee deep concerns about the situation in Syria and the impact on neighbouring countries.

According to the United Nations, 70 000 people have been killed in the Syrian crisis so far. Other sources indicate that the number could already have reached 90 000. There are more than 4 million internally displaced persons in Syria.

The number of Syrian refugees, including Palestinian refugees, in Lebanon and Jordan now amounts to 10% of the population in Lebanon and to 8% of the population in Jordan.

Assistance to such refugees requires tremendous economic resources. In Jordan alone the cost of assistance to Syrian refugees is estimated at 3% of the GDP.

The high number of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan could put the stability of Lebanon and Jordan at great risk. These refugees may have to stay in Lebanon and Jordan for a long time and more refugees may be forced to leave Syria.
Dear Colleagues, it is clear from the debate that adequate humanitarian assistance to Syria refugees in Lebanon and Jordan is essential not only for the well being of the refugees, but to protect Lebanon and Jordan from any risk of instability.
The risk of contagion from Syria into Lebanon and Jordan is too high to leave such countries alone at this very difficult time. The EU must provide its support to these countries which are facing a real humanitarian crisis.
I would therefore propose a letter signed by the AFET, DEVE and BUDG Chairs to the Foreign Ministers and Finance Ministers of all Member States stressing the need to mobilise as soon as possible adequate financial resources to support Lebanon and Jordan.

Originally published by AFET Foreign Affairs Committee.

Photo by FreedomHouse.

PN member Elmar Brok is Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament.

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