Belgium is to release €26 million of humanitarian aid, bound for Syria and neighbouring states, in 2018. The announcement came on Tuesday from the Minister for Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo, at the beginning of a donor conference, taking place in Brussels.
The further promise of donations brings the Belgian contribution to agreed humanitarian efforts over the past three years, in the Syrian region, to more than €100 million.
Mr De Croo stated, “We are undertaking this aid to show solidarity towards the Syrian people, who have already been thrust for some eight years into this bloody war. Belgium has never allocated such high humanitarian amounts for any other crisis. This is the worst human tragedy of our age.” The funds, when released, are to be allocated to accommodate refugees from war-torn areas of the region.
At the current time, more than 13 million Syrians need humanitarian aid and more than 5 million people have fled abroad: specifically to Turkey (3.5 million), Lebanon (1 million), Jordan (655,000), Iraq (248,000) and Egypt (120,000).
Besides its humanitarian element, the Brussels conference, organised by the UN and the EU, is to support the peace process, being run by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.
Minister De Croo insisted, “The international community wishes to give out a strong signal indicating that only a political solution can put an end to the Syrian conflict. Bombs will not bring peace. Only political dialogue can bring this devastating war to an end. A genuinely sustainable solution will happen at the negotiating table.”