Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the UK will provide nearly £115 million in additional emergency funding, in response to the migration crisis sweeping the EU.
The funding will include £100m in response to the Syria conflict – and £14.5m to tackle migration challenges more widely. The extra funding from Britain takes the UK’s response to the Syria crisis to £1.12 billion – second only to financial support from the US.
The Prime Minister is attending an emergency meeting of the European Council.
The £14.5m in new funding will go to provide assistance and protection in countries which refugees and migrants are leaving and transiting through – including help for refugees already in Europe.
The UK is already providing £2.4m to the Red Cross to deliver food, water, blankets and medical support for refugee families travelling across the continent.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
“Once again, the UK is leading the way in meeting the most immediate, basic needs of hundreds of thousands of Syrians caught up in this conflict.
“Our new support will give desperate people the food, clean water and shelter they need to survive on a daily basis where they are, so they won’t have to risk their lives fleeing the region and attempting the treacherous crossing to Europe. It will also provide immediate, life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection to refugees in transit.
“The UN is desperately under-funded and more help is urgently needed in the short term. Today’s emergency European Council meeting presents a real opportunity for the EU to show leadership in tackling the humanitarian and migration crisis at source.
“That means continuing to meet basic needs inside Syria and across the region, while helping host countries cope with growing numbers of refugees.
“At the same time, we must ensure Syrian children can get an education and adult refugees have the prospect of finding work, if we are to address some of the issues that are driving people to move – and give them some cause to hope for the future.”
Of the £100m in new funding for Syria and neighbouring countries, £40 million will go to the World Food Programme – predominantly for its work inside Syria, but also including £5 million to provide food assistance to refugees in Turkey.
The UK government is also giving £15m to UNICEF for its work in Syria and Lebanon, including water, sanitation and support for children – and a further £20m will go to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), to support Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will also receive £5m, to provide food, water and protection inside Syria – and £20m will go to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to provide cash transfers to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, which they can use to meet their most immediate needs, including buying food and clothing, paying rent and other out-of-pocket needs.
Of the £14.5m, the UK government will give £3m to provide aid to migrants and refugees – and support to governments in managing registration in the Western Balkans. A total of £4m will provide life-saving assistance and protection in Europe – including Greece and Italy.
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