Estonia to contribute €4.1m to relief efforts in Syria and the surrounding countries ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: (Umit Bektas/Reuters/Scanpix)

Estonia will contribute a total of €4.1m to international relief efforts in Syria and the neighbouring countries over the next two years. Of these funds, €2.8m will go to the EU’s trust fund for the support of Turkey.

Attending Thursday’s Support Syria and the Region donors’ conference in London, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) promised an additional €1.3m for 2016 and 2017 which will come from funds in the budget of the Foreign Ministry set aside for development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Belovas told the BNS that “the money will be directed toward easing the refugee situation in Syria and in countries which have accepted the largest number of refugees in the region, such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.”

Belovas said that it was important that the governments of the countries affected by the crisis wouldn’t be left on their own, but able to rely on the international humanitarian community.

“Estonia continues to pay heed to the needs of the most vulnerable groups. In addition to dealing with refugees, possibilities are being considered to establish a stronger link between humanitarian aid and development cooperation,” Belovas went on to say.

Estonia intends to continue its support of relief efforts via the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

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 NGO Mondo since 2013.

Editor: Dario Cavegn