Syria Brussels Conference: From promise to practiceThe Danish Refugee Council welcomes the substantial support of 4.4 billion USD offered to Syria’s displaced and the host communities, as the 6th international conference on the Syria crisis in Brussels concluded today. Now, it is important to go from promise to practice and show the support the Syrians need and deserve, DRC Secretary General, Christian Friis Bach noted in a statement.
More than 9 billion USD—5.1 billion USD for Syria, and 3.51 billion USD for its neighbouring countries— are needed to support Syria’s displaced inside their country and the refugees in the region. At the conference in Brussels pledges for 4.4 billions were made from donor countries. The crisis has entered its eighth year and more than 13 million Syrians are in need of assistance.
“We have joined forces in voicing our concerns. More than 200 NGOs met on Tuesday to bring forward the immense needs for more support, more cooperation, more leadership and more solutions. That voice has been heard at the conference, and it sends a strong signal to the millions who are displaced,’ says Christian Friis Bach — who acted as a NGO rapporteur at the ministerial part of the conference on Wednesday.
“In the past months in Turkey, in Lebanon, inside Syria I have met Syrian refugees and displaced, many shedding tears, many showing anger — who have now used up all their savings, lost hope, lost their dignity after seven years of conflict. It is crucial that we give these people back their hope and their dignity, their resilience, strengthen their self-reliance, both in Syria and neighbouring countries – and the outcome of the conference is an important first step,” says Christian Friis Bach.
While the pledges were significant only around half of the total needs where met at the conference today. And the interventions from the neighbouring countries stressed that the were under high pressure and needed further support to sustain their generosity and hospitality to refugees. It is therefore important that the pledges and commitments from the international community are increased and implemented in the time to come. And that the words from the conference are made into concrete actions.
“We need to ensure that the promises made in Brussels are met. We need to ensure that international donors and governments are held accountable for their promises. And we need to ensure that we work on durable solutions. That means creating jobs for refugees, ensuring education for children and young people and offering resettlement opportunities for the most vulnerable refugees. But most importantly we must ensure a political solution and reconciliation so the conflict stops and refugees and displaced hopefully can go home again,” says Christian Friis Bach.