Strong Swedish commitment to Syria
The number of internally displaced persons is now estimated at almost one million as fighting intensifies across more parts of Syria. The escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria is placing heavy demands on the UN response system.
"In a country where secure humanitarian access for the UN is limited, coordinating and channelling help effectively,
from both old and new donor countries, is an enormous challenge," said Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson, at Friday's press briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria and Sweden's commitment to the region.
So far, Sweden has contributed SEK 117 million in humanitarian support to Syria. It is prepared to provide additional support although this amount already exceeds total humanitarian support in 2011. Sweden is also one of the largest humanitarian donors to the region.
Almost 130 000 people have sought assistance in Syria's neighbouring countries. These have registered as refugees, but the actual numbers are believed to be much higher.
"Helping refugees who have crossed into neighbouring countries is easier than reaching those in Syria who need help. But in Jordan for example, which because of its proximity to Syria is now taking in large numbers of refugees, internal problems such as widespread poverty are already a challenge. It is therefore extremely important to provide support to these countries too when refugee flows increase," said Ms Carlsson.
More intense fighting across more parts of Syria has led to an estimated almost one million internally displaced persons; approximately 130 000 are believed to have sought help in neighbouring countries. The chances of reaching those in need are severely limited due to the prevailing security situation and restrictions. The UN estimates that between 1.5 and 3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to the crisis.
Swedish humanitarian support to Syria and for Syrian refugees in 2012 amounts to SEK 117 million.