The Supporting Syria and the Region Conference
On February 4th Norway, the UK, Germany, Kuwait, and the United Nations will co-host the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference in London, to raise significant new funding to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of those affected.
The conference will bring together world leaders from around the globe to rise to the challenge of raising the money needed to help millions of people caught up in the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.
The Supporting Syria and the Region Conference will also set itself ambitious goals on education and economic opportunities to transform the lives of refugees caught up in the Syrian crisis – and to support the countries hosting them.
The 2016 UN inter-agency appeals for the Syria crisis are an estimated US$7.73 billion. An additional US$ 1.2 billion in funding is required by affected regional governments as part of national response plans.
The event will build on three previous conferences that have been generously hosted in Kuwait.
What will the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference do?
At the conference, leaders from countries around the world, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector and civil society will come together to:
- Raise significant new funding to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of those affected by the crisis
- Provide access to education for all refugee and host community children by the end of the 2016-17 school year
- Create job opportunities for refugees in neighbouring countries
- Apply international pressure to stop obstruction and abuse, to respect humanitarian law
- Give people inside Syria safer healthcare, safer education, and support for the most vulnerable, especially girls and women
- Agree on how the international community will work together to help make Syria more stable
This event alone cannot solve all these problems. Ultimately a political solution is necessary to bring the Syrian conflict to an end.
The co-hosts are committed to working with each other – and with international partners – to achieve that, and to support the development of an inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Syria.
Norway and the Syrian conflict
Norway has been one of the largest humanitarian contributers to Syria and the region, and people affected by the Syria conflict. Supporting the civilian population affected by the conflict is one of the main priorities in Norway's humanitarian and development effort, having contributed NOK 1 billion in 2015.
"On the basis of the pledges made at the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria that was held in Kuwait at the end of March, Norway is the seventh largest national donor in absolute figure and larger than all the other Nordic countries together. With the additional allocation of NOK 250 million in the revised budget, Norway's contribution since the start of the civil war totals nearly NOK 3 billion. The funding we are providing will be used for food, shelter, health services, water and sanitation, among other things," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
The UN asked the international community to provide NOK 59 billion last year to meet the humanitarian needs in Syria and its neighbouring countries. Only around 20 % of the UN appeal was raised by december. Larger contributions are therefore needed.
Against this backdrop, the Norwegian Government was one of the main initiators to co-host the Supporting Syria and the Region conference, aiming to increase the efforts to ease the human suffering and find political solutions to issues at stake. In 2016, the Norwegian Government will also further increase its humanitarian funding, from the total contribution of approximately US$176 million in 2015 to Syria, Iraq and affected neighbouring countries.
Norway channels its funding through UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and non-governmental organisations. The support covers sectors such as education, health, food assistance, shelter, protection, sexual and gender based violence, water and sanitation, and other emergency response activities.
The Syria conflict has lasted for almost as long as it takes to complete primary school. 3 million Syrian children are out of school because of the war. It is of critical importance to prevent a lost generation. Education in emergencies, and education support to host communities, are important priorities for Norway. Norway will lead a side-event on education during the conference.
In addition to humanitarian support, Norway has also provided transport of chemical weapons out of Syria for destruction, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 2118 and decisions by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Executive Council.
Since the conflict in Syria broke out in 2011, the number of refugees in Syria's neighbouring countries has grown to more than 3.8 million. Of the population remaining in Syria, more than half – 12.2 million people – are dependent on humanitarian aid. It is the children who are hardest hit, and at least NOK 150 million of the 'Syria billion' has therefore been earmarked for education and protection measures.
"It is crucial to bring about a rapid end to the violence in Syria. Norway supports the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Misturas, and other dialogues aiming to find a political solution. This is a very challenging task," said Mr Brende.
Information used from www.supportingsyria2016.com - Visit the homepage of the conference for more information and inspiration to support Syrians!