Germany increases Aid for Syrian Refugees
More than 340,000 people have sought refuge from the violence in Syria in neighbouring countries. On 18 October, Germany increased its humanitarian assistance for these people by five million euros to 28.3 million euros and is thus one of the key donors in the Syria crisis.
Enlarge image Westerwelle visits the refugee camp in Zaatari (© Photothek/ Trutschel) Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin, “We are extremely concerned about the dramatic number of refugees in Syria and in neighbouring countries. They often lack even basic necessities.” With winter approaching, the refugees need clothing, blankets and heaters, among other things. Medical care must also be improved. German aid organisations as well as the Federal Agency for Technical Relief are cooperating with UNHCR to alleviate the plight of the refugees.
The German Foreign Minister emphasised that the humanitarian aid funds were intended “to help lessen the hardship”. Syria’s neighbours Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan have “very generously” taken in the many refugees, stated the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, ahead of his meeting with Minister Westerwelle in Berlin on 18 October. He went on to say that they needed all the help they could get from Europe. More than 100,000 Syrians have found refuge in Turkey alone.
Enlarge image In the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan (© picture-alliance/ dpa) As the Minister pointed out: "We must do everything we can to assist the refugees and the neighbouring countries which have so selflessly taken them in. We have an obligation towards these people."
Visits on the ground
On 8 September, Minister Westerwelle was able to see first-hand the situation in Zaatari refugee camp, which houses more than 30,000 refugees. Westerwelle was deeply moved by his visit. Over half of the refugees are children, who are particularly traumatised by the violence and loss of their homes. Previously the camp had been visited by Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid Markus Löning.