Who: Supporting Syria & the Region Conference 2016
Where: London, the UK
When: 4 February 2016
Why: To pledge financial resources to conflict-ridden Syria
Supporting Syria and the Region Conference 2016 was held on 4 February 2016 in London. The objective of the conference was to discuss issues related to the over 5-year old civil war in Syria and measures to mitigate the humanitarian conflict faced by the country and the region as a whole.
The conference was co-hosted by Germany, Kuwait, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United Nations and saw the participation of over 60 countries.
In addition to deliberating on the 2016 Syria humanitarian response plan (HRP) and Regional refugee and resilience plan (3RP) 2016-17, the conference announced 10.7 billion US dollars to undertake humanitarian activities in Syria between 2016 and 2020.
Highlights of Supporting Syria & the Region Conference 2016
• Apart from the 60 participating nations, several international organisations, business, civil society, Syrians and people affected by the conflict were also part of the conference.
• The participants agreed on a comprehensive new approach on response to the protracted crisis in Syria, building on the 2014 Berlin Conference and the three Kuwait Pledging Conferences.
• The donors pledged over 10 billion US dollars in funding – 5.6 billion US dollars for 2016 and a further 5.1 billion US dollars for 2017-20 towards provision of support to children, women and girls, rehabilitation of infrastructure and support for sustainable agriculture.
• In addition, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and donors announced around 40 billion US dollars in loans on concessional terms.
• The funding will also help in providing access to education for all refugee and host community children by the end of the 2016-17 school year. This measure will help over 2 million children who are out of school.
Situation in Syria & the region
• Beginning from 2011, the over 5 years of intensifying conflict in Syria have precipitated the greatest humanitarian crisis witnessed in generations.
• Due to the conflict, over 250000 people have been killed and over one million injured, while more than half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, often multiple times.
• On average, since 2011, 50 Syrian families have been displaced every hour of every day. In 2015 alone, over 1.4 million people were displaced inside the country.
• Increasing numbers of civilians are fleeing to neighbouring countries, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and risking their lives to reach safety beyond the region (Europe).
• Inside Syria today, 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance.
• At least 8.7 million people are unable to meet their daily food needs, while a staggering 70 per cent of the population is without regular access to safe drinking water
• During 2015, the number of registered Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt increased by more than 1 million, bringing the overall total to almost 4.6 million.
• The conflict also pushed more than 440000 Syrians to take the dangerous Mediterranean Sea route to reach the shores of Europe in 2015 killing thousands of them en route.