Syria in Crisis – JOA’s response
JOA Press Release – Syria Funding
A meeting of Jersey Overseas Aid Commissioners on 4th October agreed to provide emergency funds for the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria.
With the conflict deep into its sixth year, a quarter of a million Syrians have been killed and a million more have been injured. An estimated 13.5 million people inside Syria, including 6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Almost 5 million others have been forced to leave the country, placing great strain on neighbouring countries and leading many refugees to make perilous journeys in search of new lives further afield.
In response to what the EU calls ‘the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II’, Jersey will once again join virtually every other developed country in the world in providing assistance to alleviate immediate suffering and prevent additional displacement of people. In 2015 Jersey provided £650,000 to agencies working with Syrian refugees in Jordan. This year, recognising the increasing desperation of civilians in war-torn Syria itself, Jersey will direct the bulk of its assistance to humanitarian relief inside that tragic country.
Following discussions and meetings with agencies’ frontline staff, and analysis of project documents and needs assessments, Commissioners have selected three programmes to support:
- British Red Cross: Provision of winterisation and food items within Syria. With its network of 7,000 volunteers and over 80 branches in country, the trusted Red Cross movement is the main provider of humanitarian relief across Syria. Jersey’s donation will buy food parcels and vital winter items such as tarpaulins and mattresses.
- UNICEF: Provision of emergency assistance in Lebanon. Over 1 million Syrian refugees are registered in Lebanon (representing a quarter of the country’s population), almost 185,000 of whom are under 5. They have settled in more than 1,700 locations throughout Lebanon, often in poor mountainous areas. Jersey’s donation will provide items to help them face the upcoming winter.
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Syrian Emergency Fund. Managed by UNOCHA under the leadership of the senior UN official in Syria, this pooled Fund will direct assistance to urgent projects where it is needed most inside war-torn Syria, ensuring the highest standards of coordination, oversight and risk assessment.