Syria – French response to emergency needs in Al Hol – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (1 April 2019)

France made a long-term commitment to the populations in northeastern Syria, especially the displaced persons and refugees. We have therefore been supporting the humanitarian response in the camps and sites for displaced persons since 2017. Within the framework of the €50 million emergency response program for Syria, we have provided more than €12 million to support these extremely vulnerable populations.

Needs have increased since December 2018, following the displacement of tens of thousands of people in northeastern Syria, the majority of them women and children. In the face of the scale of the humanitarian crisis, I have decided to increase our efforts in the camps in the region, notably the Al Hol camp, which currently houses 70,000 people in particularly difficult conditions.

In this context, France will immediately strengthen its support for the humanitarian NGOs in the camps and informal sites in the region and especially in Al Hol, by providing the populations with tents, basic necessities, food assistance and access to water, amounting to €500,000. Furthermore, additional funding of €500,000 has been allocated to the NGO Un Ponte Per to improve the functioning of two health centers established and supported by France since 2017 in the Al Hol camp which already provides more than 2,000 patient consultations every month.

I have therefore decided to allocate or reallocate a total of almost €1 million to humanitarian activities in the camps and sites for displaced persons and refugees in northeastern Syria in order to help provide these populations with dignified living conditions.