Estonia allocates €1.3 million for humanitarian aid in Syria

The Estonian government decided to allocate €1.3 million to mitigate the humanitarian consequences of the Syrian civil war.

The decision was announced by the country’s foreign minister, Eva-Maria Liimets, on 30 March.

“The situation in Syria remains extremely bad – people suffer from widespread violence; thousands of people are detained or missing; homes destroyed; chemical weapons used by the Syrian regime against its own people, most children have never lived a day without war,” Liimets said in a statement.

Over 13 million people are in need

The Estonian foreign ministry said that over 13 million people were in need of humanitarian aid in the Syrian conflict. “More than half of the population has been forced to leave their homes. There are seven million internally displaced people, and 6.6 million people are living in exile in neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.”

Destroyed neighborhood in Raqqa, Syria. Photo by Mahmoud Bali, public domain.

Estonia’s aid contribution so far has been €11 million. The latest aid, allocated between 2021 and 2022, will go towards mitigating the humanitarian situation of the internally displaced people and supporting refugees in neighbouring countries. Both will be organised through the projects of an Estonian NGO, Mondo, and the Estonian Refugee Council, as well as through the International Committee of the Red Cross and UN humanitarian aid organisations.

The European Union, together with its member states, is the largest donor of humanitarian aid to Syria and the region.

An endless war

The Syrian war is an ongoing multi-sided civil war that began in March 2011. The civil war is fought between the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic led by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations.

The estimates for war casualties vary greatly. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 388,652–594,000 people have been killed as of March 2021.

Cover: Refugee children from Syria at a clinic in Ramtha, northern Jordan. Photo by Russell Watkins/The UK’s Department for International Development. Shared under the Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 licence.

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