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EU single biggest aid package announced

Syrian refugees to receive EU life-saving assistance as Britain deliberates air strikes.

The EU Trust Fund has today (Tuesday) announced a major aid package in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Up to 1.5 million refugees and their host communities in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq will benefit from the EU assistance totaling €350million.

Alyn Smith MEP, Scottish member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has welcomed today’s announcement, which will provide urgently needed aid to refugees and overstretched host countries in the coming months, especially as Winter bites.

Alyn said:

“This single biggest aid package will enable refugees in the countries in Syria's neighbourhood to access basic education and child protection, it will improve access to healthcare, water and waste-water infrastructure, as well as support to resilience, economic opportunities and social inclusion.

“The EU Trust Fund, an initiative set up a year ago, enables the EU and its Member States to jointly intervene in humanitarian crises through one programme, and it’s only right that we are stepping up our assistance to the Syrian crisis, which is the biggest humanitarian disaster of our era.

“Beyond the Syrian border, EU funding ensures that people fleeing the country will receive life-saving assistance and of course, every step towards increased support and funding is a step in the right direction, however, the money will not end this war and neither will air strikes.

“We must redouble our efforts to find a political solution to make Syria a safe place for its people. This tragedy has to end and a well-coordinated international effort to find a political solution should be high on our list of priorities for the region. I also believe the EU can play an important role in the Vienna negotiations. Stabilising and rebuilding Syria won’t happen overnight but an end to the bloodshed is urgent, a ceasefire would be a good start.”