Syria: More than $1bn raised in financial support to help refugees

18 Apr 16

More than $1bn of financial support was pledged by donors on Friday to help Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon.

 

The funds, promised by Japan, France, the UK, the US, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and the European Commission, are comprised mostly by soft loans ($1bn), with $141m worth of grants and $500m worth of guarantees.

Pledges will go to a financing initiative to support those caught up in the fallout from the Syrian civil war as well as recovery and reconstruction across the Middle East and North Africa region. This was set up by the World Bank, the United Nations and the Islamic Development Bank last October.

Islamic Development Bank president Mohamed Ali Al-Madani said the funds would help the full scope of the region’s crisis.

“The region faces enormous challenges and our development assistance is needed now more than ever, but it is critical that we unite to leverage our various comparative advantages. That approach received a resounding endorsement today.”

Over 15 million people in the region have been forced from their homes in the past five years due to conflict and instability, with enormous humanitarian and economic consequences.

Host countries are under immense pressure, with already scarce resources now stretched even further.

In Syria and other conflict-affected states, it is estimated that reconstruction costs could run into hundreds of billions of dollars.

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said today’s grants mean the support programmes could help Jordan and Lebanon cope with the massive influx of millions of people fleeing Syria’s war, and development banks will be able to increase their financing in unstable countries as a result of the guarantees.

“I am confident of mobilising additional support for recovery and reconstruction, and reaching our goal of raising $1bn in grants over the next five years, which we will leverage to create $3-4bn in much-needed concessional financing,” he said.

As well as raising funds, the initiative aims to increase coordination among international organisations. The World Bank, IDB and UN have formed a working group together with 26 supporting and benefitting countries and nine regional and international organisations, which has spent the last six months developing a roadmap for implementation.

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon said a well-coordinated humanitarian and development responses was needed as the regional and international community continues to search for a political solution to the Syria conflict.  

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