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Emergency Aid for Syria

July 8, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia would increase its assistance for Syria, with a further $5 million for medical treatment and food supplies for refugees and for families in areas worst affected by civil war.

Speaking following the Friends of Syria meeting in Paris (overnight July 6 AEST), Senator Carr said Syria’s humanitarian crisis had escalated, with more than a million civilians homeless, and 78,000 having fled to refugee camps.

“Syria’s internal conflict is at a tipping point,” Senator Carr said.

“Tragically, more than 10,000 Syrians have lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands are in urgent need of aid.

“Australia has taken a lead in calling for a unified international response to end the bloodshed.

“But we must also act to address the humanitarian crisis, with medical supplies, food and shelter. This additional funding is a step forward in helping the thousands of Syrian civilians caught up in the struggle against the Assad regime.

Senator Carr said the additional $5 million in aid would bring Australia’s total contribution to Syria to $16 million.

Around $2 million of the additional funds would support non-government organisations providing medical aid in Syria’s conflict zones. It builds on existing Australian assistance of food and health care for 350,000 people and the medical evacuation of 500 seriously wounded civilians to Lebanon.

Another $2 million will assist the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees support the increasing number of Syrians fleeing their country.

The remaining $1 million will go towards the OCHA Syrian Emergency Response Fund towards the work of NGO humanitarian organisations and United Nations agencies inside Syria.

The additional funds follows similar recent commitments by the United States ($12.8m), United Kingdom (£9 m), Germany (€2m) and Japan ($5m).

3 Comments
  1. peter keys permalink
    July 8, 2012 10:01 pm

    I think I may have made a mistake in subscribing to Bob’s Thoughtlines.

    I had seen a number of articles in Bob’s Thoughtlines some time ago and quite enjoyed them. I liked his wide interest in all things including American history, films, politics, the human condition, etc. But as far as I can see, since his elevation to Ms Gillard’s ministery, Bob’s Thoughtlines have been no more than Labor media reports.

    Is that all Thoughtlines will be in future, Labor media reports?

  2. Leslie S permalink
    July 9, 2012 12:40 pm

    It is a noble jesture from Australia to help the Syrian people but how are you going to distribute this aid whem Assad troops and himself does not respect the efforts of the UN and continues to slaughter his own countrymen nor does he repect the borders to other neighbouring nations surrounding Syria Assad will not bow to helping nations only when his dead or his country is taken over by military intervention from other nations this man will not hesitate to destroy more of his people just to prove he has total control of Syria. If you open your eyes he has proven that already..

  3. July 9, 2012 6:38 pm

    This is vital aid that the UNHCR, especially, has been seeking since April this year. Important that Australia is making additional contributions. The asylum seeking situation in Turkey and Lebanon, with Jordan not far behind, is growing desperate. I watched Foreign Minister Carr deliver his address in Paris – it was commendable for it reminded the international community of their responsibility to protect Syrian citizens if the Syrian state continually fails to do so. When we all agree that the Syrian government is not protecting their citizens but fulfilment of the peace plan remains uncertain, the only way the international community can fulfil its responsibility to protect those fleeing violence is to give them the protection and care they are entitled to as refugees.

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