Dóchas Press Statement 05.02.2016

05 february 2016

DÓCHAS
The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

PRESS RELEASE

5 February, 2016

Irish international aid organisations welcome Ireland’s pledge of 20 million euro in humanitarian aid for Syria crisis and call for an immediate end to the conflict

Dóchas today, on behalf of its network of NGOs, welcomes the announcement that the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference in London has raised $10 billion in international humanitarian aid. Dóchas particularly welcomes the announcement of Ireland’s contribution of a pledge of a further €20 million for 2016 to support those affected by the Syria crisis.

The increased funding has also been positively received internationally. An international civil society coalition of over 30 international NGOs, including Irish NGOs who form part of the Dóchas network, released its verdict following the Supporting Syria and the Region donor conference. While the NGOs welcomed the ambition demonstrated at the conference to increase the scale and scope of the humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, they maintained that overall pledges for 2016 fell more than US$3bn short of what was urgently needed. They warn that many Syrians will continue to suffer unless more is done to ensure their protection inside and outside the country, and to ultimately ensure an end to the violence in Syria.

The Syrian conflict is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. Humanitarian action is urgently required and is proving crucial in providing much needed support to those who are suffering as a result of this conflict. 13.5 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria.

Irish NGOs continue to use their expertise, working in the region to contribute to the provision of this necessary support. With the support of the increased funding from the Irish government, and the continuing generosity of the Irish public through their donations, this crucial work can continue. However, all efforts must be made internationally to reach a lasting resolution to the conflict to bring peace to the region. Dóchas calls on the Irish government to continue to use Ireland’s good authority to fully support all political and diplomatic efforts to build an inclusive peace process, supported by the meaningful participation of men and women from Syrian civil society.

While the condemnation of the widespread violations of international humanitarian law by all warring parties was recognised, the international civil society coalition warned that ‘condemnation alone was scant consolation to Syrian civilians suffering extreme fear and deprivation on a daily basis inside Syria’ saying that increased assistance must be accompanied by efforts to promote a comprehensive solution to the root causes of the conflict, and provide safe and legal routes for refugees to resettle beyond the region.   
[ENDS]

Media Contact: Naomi Linehan, Media Officer for Dóchas: 01 405 3801/ 086 1077079

Notes to the Editor