Swiss budget for Syrians in desperate need increased by CHF 20 million

Media release, 23.09.2014

Bern, 23.09.2014 - To improve the desperate situation of people affected by the conflict in Syria, Switzerland’s Humanitarian Aid has increased its support measures both for people in Syria and the over three million refugees in the neighbouring states. Switzerland’s budget since the start of the Syrian crisis totals CHF 105 million.

In view of the constantly deteriorating situation – with almost 14 million people in Syria and its neighbouring states now in need of aid – Switzerland has increased its budget this year for support measures by a further CHF 20 million to CHF 50 million. This step was announced by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York and the Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Martin Dahinden, at the Ministerial Consultation on the Humanitarian and Development Situation in Syria and Neighbouring Countries, which is also taking place in New York. Both expressed their grave concerns about the situation of the civilian population. The total Swiss aid budget since the start of the Syrian crisis amounts to CHF 105 million.

The funds will continue to be used both for aid in Syria and supporting the over three million refugees from Syria in the neighbouring states. The priorities for aid will remain:

- Aid measures via humanitarian partners (UN aid organisations, ICRC and non-governmental organisations);
- The implementation of our own projects, such as the renovation of around 30 schools in Jordan which integrate Syrian refugee children into their classes;
- Provision of experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) to UN organisations, in particular in the fields of construction and accommodation, access to water and hygiene measures and cash support (a total of 14 experts to date);
- Commitment at international level in humanitarian diplomacy to improving humanitarian access in Syria and supporting the international coordination of aid measures.

In addition to humanitarian aid, Switzerland is also committed to the political resolution of the Syrian conflict. In this respect, it supports the political mission of the special representative of the UN.

Switzerland is also committed to ensuring that the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity from all parties involved in the conflict do not go unpunished. Switzerland has therefore made several calls before the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council for the Security Council to take the situation in Syria to the International Court of Justice.

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