Estonia gives EUR 4.1 mln to help Syria refugees

Süüria naine lapsega.

PHOTO: SCANPIX/REUTERS

Estonia will pay altogether 4.1 million euros through various channels over the next two years to help the people who have fled the civil war in Syria.

Estonia will contribute 2.8 million euros to the EU-Turkey three-billion-euro trust fund during the two years, it appears from the agreement signed among EU countries this week.

In addition Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas pledged at least 1.3 million euros on Estonia's behalf in 2016 and 2017 at the donors' conference in London on Thursday. That money will be taken from the funds in the budget of the Foreign Ministry set aside for development cooperation and humanitarian aid, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Maria Belovas told BNS. «The money will be directed toward easing the refugee situation in Syria and in countries which have accepted the largest numbers of refugees in the region, such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq,» Belovas said.

She said it was important that the governments of the countries affected by the crisis were not left on their own and were able to rely on the international humanitarian community.

Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria Estonia has provided more than a million euros to ease the plight of Syrian refugees in Syria's neighboring countries Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.

«Estonia continues to pay heed to the needs of the most vulnerable groups. In addition to dealing with refugees possibilities are being sought to establish a stronger link between humanitarian aid and development cooperation,» Belovas said.

Estonia intends to go on supporting easing of the situation of Syrian refugees via the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Estonian nonprofit organizations have been connected with helping Syrian refugees in Jordan via two projects and will keep doing it.

Experts of the Estonian disaster relief team have taken part in international humanitarian missions in Jordan, monitored humanitarian consignments on the Turkish-Syrian border as members of the UNDAC mission and helped to build the Azraq refugee camp.

Estonia has been supporting the provision of an IT learning environment for preschool children at the Za'atri and Azraq camps via the nonprofit MTU Mondo since 2013.

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