Friday 28 July 2017
Statement by the co-chairs of the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference on the publication of the post-Brussels financial tracking report.
1. At the Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region Conference in Brussels on 5th April 2017, the international community and the governments of refugee-hosting countries came together to build on the success of the 2016 conference in London. Co-chairs and others reaffirmed commitments to progress all London conference commitments to help millions of internally displaced Syrians, Syrian refugees and the communities generously hosting them.
2. The international community pledged US$6 billion in funding to support humanitarian and development activities in 2017 in Syria and the region, and a further US$3.7 billion for 2018-20. This builds on the $8 billion contributed by donors in 2016. International financial institutions and donors also announced almost US$30 billion in loans. The Brussels conference co-chairs have today published a report on progress against these pledges [PDF].
3. The report published today finds that:
4. Just four months after the conference, 18 of the 42 donors have delivered, or exceeded, the amounts that they pledged. However, several donors are still to deliver on their full pledge, or make information on their contributions available.
5. Despite good progress against pledges made, the 2017 UN-coordinated inter-agency appeals for Syria and the region are only 27% funded. Therefore the humanitarian and protection needs inside Syria and in the region are still largely unmet. The crisis, now in its seventh year, has had a devastating and unprecedented impact on Syria and the region and it cannot be managed without ongoing international support. Co-hosts urge donors to deliver on their commitments for 2017 and step up their efforts to continue delivering lifesaving and life-changing aid.
6. Neighbouring countries continue to show extraordinary generosity in hosting millions of Syrian refugees. International aid has been vital to help them cope with the impact on their economies and local services. At the Brussels conference, donors and refugee-hosting countries reaffirmed their commitment to providing public services, protection and assistance to refugees. Co-chairs agreed actions with the Governments of Jordan and Lebanon to support the necessary reforms to boost economic growth and job creation, continue to expand education opportunities for Syrians and their host communities, as well as sustain protection efforts.
7. Further good progress has been made this year. The Government of Jordan has increased access to its labour market for Syrian refugees, issuing more than 50,000 permits to date. The new 10 year EU trade deal has started impacting on Jordan’s exports to Europe, and over 126,000 Syrian refugees are now enrolled in the formal public school system. In Lebanon the government has taken a series of measures to improve the protection and opportunities afforded to Syrian refugees by lifting of the ‘pledge not to work’, waiving residency fees for some Syrian refugees as well as expanding the Lebanese education system for almost 300,000 Syrian children.
8. Inside Syria, the conflict has continued to devastate the lives of millions of people. Civilians continue to be targeted and humanitarian access to those desperately in need denied. We are deeply concerned by the continuing attacks by all parties on civilians and civilian infrastructure such as schools, hospitals water networks and places of worship. The ongoing sexual and gender based violence being perpetrated on all sides is unacceptable. Co-hosts condemn the ongoing large scale breaches of International Humanitarian Law and human rights law. Providing immediate humanitarian assistance, protection and resilience support to all those in need throughout the country remains paramount.
9. With generous donor funding not sufficient to meet growing needs, we must drive forward reforms in the way we deliver our humanitarian and development assistance to ensure maximum impact, efficiency and value for money. The Brussels Conference agreed to translate the Grand Bargain commitments into actions for the crisis response inside Syria. Participants must continue to work together to make this a reality.
10. This horrific humanitarian crisis can only be brought to an end by a sustainable political solution through an inclusive and Syrian-led political transition process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
11. This tracking mechanism is, and will continue to be, a vital tool to inform recipients of funding that has been spent or is due to be spent to support humanitarian and development activities in their countries. As donors sustain the mobilisation of large volumes of resources to the crisis, it is imperative that the type, delivery channel and destination of funding, including forward-looking data on future funding, continues to be made available. This can only be achieved by ongoing commitment of all donors to ensure that their efforts are accounted for and reported in the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) and to this tracking mechanism.