8th Brussels Conference pledges €7.5 billion to support Syria

Group photo of participants in the 8th Brussels Conference on Syria - May 27, 2024 (EPA)

Group photo of participants in the 8th Brussels Conference on Syria - May 27, 2024 (EPA)

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Participants in the VIII Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region pledged financial aid worth €7.5 billion ($8.1 billion) in the form of grants and loans to assist Syrians during the ministerial donors’ conference held on Monday, May 27th in Brussels, Belgium.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the total pledges for this year will be €5 billion in grants, including €3.8 billion for 2024 and €1.2 billion for the following year and beyond. The remaining amount (€2.5 billion) will be in the form of loans.

AP noted that the pledges announced at the Brussels 8th Conference exceeded the modest amount of $4.07 billion that the United Nations appealed for. However, the pledges represent a significant decrease from the amounts pledged last year and in previous years.

Donors at the Brussels 7th Conference in 2023 pledged $10.3 billion, just months after the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and four Syrian provinces on February 6, 2023, resulting in the deaths of more than 59,000 people, including 6,000 in Syria.

AP commented on the decline in donor pledges this year, describing it as an indicator of donor fatigue, with global attention focused on conflicts elsewhere, including wars in Ukraine, Sudan, and Gaza.

Meanwhile, the European Union announced on its official website that it pledged €2.12 billion during the Brussels 8th Conference for 2024 and 2025, noting that these aids will support Syrians inside the country and those in host countries (Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq).

The European Union confirmed the fulfillment of the pledge it made at the Brussels 7th Conference (€560 million) for 2024, allocated to populations inside Syria as well as Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them.

Additionally, the European Union pledged an extra €560 million for 2025 for host countries (Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq) and €1 billion to support Syrian refugees in Turkey.

These pledges will be allocated to Syrians inside the country and approximately 5.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, who are suffering from economic crises and feeling frustrated by the decline in aid.

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated, “We stand by the Syrian people and their host communities, and the terrible challenges facing the region today will not distract us from continuing to push for a political solution in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.”

The ministerial meeting, held on Monday, May 27th, in Brussels, was based on the results of “Dialogue Day” on April 30th, which was attended by over 600 participants from Syrian civil society organizations from Syria and neighboring countries, as well as expatriates, the United Nations, EU member states, partner countries, and international NGOs.

 

 

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