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Syria – Humanitarian assistance (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - 7 december, 2012)

Q : Again with respect to the humanitarian aspect, there’s cooperation between France and Morocco regarding the field hospital that has been set up for Syria.

Of course. At the Zaatari camp in Jordan.

What is the status of this cooperation? Are you going to further strengthen it?

A : The minister went to this camp in the summer as part of a regional tour which then took him to Lebanon and Turkey. Since then, more and more people fleeing the fighting and violence in Syria have arrived at this camp, which is unique in having a French military hospital that was set up in very close coordination with Morocco and Jordan. It has notably allowed us to provide medical consultations to the refugees and also to launch a campaign to vaccinate children. I’m speaking from memory and I’m not sure if these are the latest figures, but we’re talking about nearly 6,000 children who have been vaccinated at the Zaatari camp, and more than a thousand surgical procedures.

In all, approximately €13 million in French bilateral aid has now been provided to the Syrians, of which a portion has been allocated to the humanitarian assistance implemented by the UN agencies, ICRC and the NGOs on the ground.

Our interlocutor with respect to humanitarian assistance is now the Syrian National Council, which delivers most if not all of our humanitarian assistance.

In addition to this €13 million, around 20 million is provided through the European budget, which corresponds to France’s contribution to the European budget, so, in all, French humanitarian assistance to Syria amounts to more than 30 million.

With the onset of winter, we have strengthened our support and are focusing it on certain very specific actions in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In Syria, we allocated €200,000 to Islamic Relief France in order to provide shelter kits for winter and cooking equipment for 8,250 displaced persons in the Damascus region and winter clothes for 3,300 children.

We also allocated €200,000 to another NGO which will have access to Syrian displaced persons in order to provide them with food and basic necessities, housing, and medicines to get through the winter in the regions of Aleppo and Damascus. In all, this applies to 12,500 people and housing will be provided for 300 families.

In Lebanon, we paid €100,000 to Catholic Relief Services through Caritas Lebanon to help 1,050 families in the north of Lebanon and in Beirut to buy blankets, stoves, fuel and provide them with rental assistance.

In Jordan, we paid €125,000 to Electriciens sans Frontières to provide lighting in part of the Zaatari camp.

We paid €30,000 to Solidarité Syrie to build a kitchen in Amman which will make it possible to provide income to isolated women and Syrian refugees, and to send clothing to the refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

In Iraq, we paid €70,000 to ACTED to buy winter clothing for 5,000 children in the al-Qaim refugee camp.


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