EU agrees to give $619 mn to Syria in 2018
BRUSSELS: During the international conference on Syria, the European Union agreed to give the country $619 million (580 million euros) in 2018, an official said.
EU's high representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini said during the two-day conference titled 'Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region' here, that the money would also be used to help Lebanon and Jordan, who have taken in thousands of refugees, Efe news reported.
"What is vital is that humanitarian funding, this humanitarian funding, turns into humanitarian action," she said.
In order for the funding to be translated into real help for Syrians, Mogherini said two things were necessary: aid workers and full humanitarian access to all of Syria.
According to her, the EU intended to maintain the same level of aid in 2019, adding that the bloc was the primary humanitarian aid donor to Syria and the refugee hosting countries.
Mogherini highlighted that, as well as respecting its financial compromises, the EU was promoting economic and job growth in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as for Syrians, in order to avoid a conflict between refugees and their host communities.
"I think we have to be very clear about the fact that we are supporting the Syrians and we are supporting them as they hope to build the future of their country," she said.
The Italian politician said all aid that had been pledged in 2016 had been delivered, and it was now important to analyze where progress had been made.
"We will look forward to 2018 and 2019 to ensure we can provide some continuity and predictability to the humanitarian support we give to Syrians," said Mogherini.